Clean Energy breaks ground on RNG dairy digester

By Clean Energy Fuels Corp. | November 18, 2021

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. announced it has broken ground on a renewable natural gas (RNG) digester at Del Rio Dairy in Friona, Texas, its first in a joint venture with TotalEnergies to produce the ultra-clean transportation fuel which will be negative carbon intensive. All the RNG fuel produced at Del Rio Dairy will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

“With a growing focus on capturing methane highlighted by the recent discussions at COP26, the Del Rio Dairy RNG project is significant on many levels,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO, Clean Energy. “It brings together concerned parties ranging from a family-owned dairy, to one of the world’s leading and most sustainably-minded energy companies TotalEnergies, to manage greenhouse gas emissions and tackle global warming. When the RNG produced here goes into the tank of a large vehicle, it will usually be replacing a much dirtier fuel, demonstrating the unique qualities of RNG as the cleanest fuel in the world.”

When completed, the Del Rio Dairy digester project will capture the waste from more than 7,500 milking cows and generate an anticipated 1.1 million gallons of RNG annually. RNG helps Clean Energy’s customers achieve their sustainability goals by dramatically reducing their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from transportation operations. Clean Energy has a target to provide RNG at all its U.S. stations and for the carbon intensity (CI) of the fuel to be zero by 2025.

Yesterday,  Littlefair participated in a groundbreaking ceremony with members of the Gingg family who own Del Rio Dairy and executives from TotalEnergies, Montrose Environmental Group, a leading provider of environmental solutions, providing EPC, startup and commissioning services for the project. Other partner companies include Black Bear Environmental Asset Advisors, a research and consulting firm, and Atmos Energy, a distributor of natural gas.

Del Rio is a family-owned and operated dairy with multiple generations of Ginggs involved in running it. We take great pride in the sustainable way in which we operate,” said Rocky Gingg. “By adding a RNG digester to our operation, we will be able to say to future generations that we are helping to address serious climate issues that impact the world they live in.”

Agriculture accounts for nearly 10 percent of U.S. GHG emissions, according to the U.S. EPA. Capturing methane from farm waste can lower these emissions. RNG is used as a transportation fuel and has lower GHG emissions on lifecycle basis when compared to conventional gasoline and diesel. The California Air Resources Board has given similar projects a carbon intensity (CI) score of weighted average of -320 compared to CI scores of 101 for conventional diesel fuel and 15 for electric batteries.