Fortistar announces construction of RNG project in Florida

By Fortistar | December 16, 2020

Fortistar, a privately-owned investment firm that acquires, manages and grows companies and projects that address global environmental challenges, and the New River Solid Waste Association in Raiford, Florida, announced the construction of a facility that will capture and convert approximately 1,900 dekatherms per day of landfill methane to renewable natural gas (RNG), which is enough to offset emissions from 7,500 passenger cars.

“As an investment firm that’s focused on implementing more decarbonization solutions across the country, funding and supporting this renewable energy project in Florida was an easy decision,” said Mark Comora, president of Fortistar. “Creating fuel for transportation is a solution available today to significantly decrease human-related greenhouse gas emissions. NRSWA maintains an excellent reputation in waste management in Florida and we’re looking forward to working with them to capture greenhouse gases, displace diesel trucks and produce cleaner fuel for a more sustainable future.”

The project, formally known as the New River RNG Project, will collect naturally occurring methane from the NRSWA municipal solid waste landfill, covert it to RNG and use it to fuel natural gas vehicles via TruStar Energy, a Fortistar portfolio company.  At full output, the New River facility will extract 2,500 standard cubic feet per minute of landfill gas and produce 5.1 million gas gallon equivalents (GGE) of RNG per year. The overall project reduces emissions by 35,000 tons of CO2e per year. SCS Engineers, a California-based environmental consulting and construction firm, will build the facility under a engineering, procure and construction (EPC) contract, which will create approximately 35 to 40 construction jobs.

Perry Kent, executive Director, New River Solid Waste Association said, “NRSWA is excited about partnering with Fortistar on this important and industry leading project. This will be the first project to convert gas from a municipal solid waste landfill to RNG in Florida and we are happy we are able to lead the way. New River has always worked to manage solid waste in a sustainable way and this project is one more step toward New River becoming a fully sustainable solid waste treatment facility.”

According to the U.S. EPA, landfill gas presents a major opportunity to capture and use a significant and often-wasted energy resource. Landfill gas, which is roughly 50 percent methane, is a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material in landfills. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that traps 28 to 36 times more heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over a 100-year period. The EPA also notes that municipal solid waste landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the U.S., accounting for 15.1 percent of these emissions in 2018. EPA data also highlights the transportation sector as one of the largest contributors to U.S. GHG emissions accounting for 28 percent in 2018.

This New River Landfill RNG Project advances an aggressive renewable fuels growth strategy at Fortistar aimed at helping businesses and public agencies dramatically reduce GHG emissions with a cost-effective and proven solution today. The project is the fifth of 12 new Fortistar RNG projects requiring nearly $500 million of new capital investment, which are all expected to enter construction over the next year. When completed, these new projects will help produce 120 million GGE of RNG and reduce U.S. transportation emissions by 2 million metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 434,782 passenger cars off the road.

The New River RNG project includes the construction of a new facility that will utilize advanced, patented technology to treat landfill gas by removing carbon dioxide and other components to purify the gas and produce pipeline quality RNG. The process includes proprietary membranes provided by Air Liquide, a multinational leading company in gases, technologies and services for industry and health. The new facility will also involve a Vilter Single Screw Gas Compressor, which delivers longer life, higher reliability and better energy efficiency.