Reducing, Reusing and Recycling in New Mexico
Steve Stackhouse-Kaelble (Dec/Jan 09)

When it comes to reducing landfilled trash, recycling is a great strategy. It's also a good way to run a power generation plant, as the Farmington Electric Utility System in New Mexico has discovered. Some of its energy is generated by a power plant that thoughtfully combines combustion and steam power generation.

First up is the combustion turbine. It creates electricity by burning gas, a process that creates a lot of heat. The plant takes excess heat and uses it to create steam, which in turn is used to drive a steam turbine that generates even more electricity. The result: The plant is generating more electricity than expected and is rated at 43 percent efficient, best in the area.