Saskatoon is moving ahead on a plan to turn garbage dump gas into electricity.

The city is drilling a series of gas wells at its dump for its landfill generator, which will be Saskatoon's first new power station in decades.

The idea is not only to generate electricity by burning methane, but also to help prevent climate change.

"Methane as a greenhouse gas is 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, " said Kevin Hudson, manager of metering and sustainable electricity with Saskatoon Light & Power.

"If you're even just combusting it and releasing it into the atmosphere, you're reducing it by 20 times as far as what's going into the atmosphere."

Work starts next week on a power station at the dump. The wells will be connected to the generator and will start feeding electricity into the grid next year.

"That's enough to provide power for about 1,300 homes,"  said Hudson. "As we expand the system, eventully we'll have 3.2 megawatts and enough for 2,600 homes."

There's enough garbage at the dump to feed the power grid for 70 to 80 years, Hudson said.