Biogas & Renewable Natural Gas Roundup

A roundup of recent news in the biogas and renewable natural gas industry.
By Biomass Magazine | April 16, 2022

EDL and key project stakeholders British Petroleum, Consumers Energy and Granger Waste Services welcomed the start of operations at the Wood Road Renewable Natural Gas Facility in Lansing, Michigan. RNG produced at the facility will be added to Consumers Energy’s existing pipeline network for delivery to end users, with a portion taken by BP to supply natural gas-powered vehicles across the U.S. The RNG will also be delivered for residential, commercial and industrial use in North America.

EDL also recently signed agreements with U.S. gas company Pennant Midstream, the company’s fourth investment in the U.S. RNG market since 2019. Under the agreement, Pennant will transport RNG from the Carbon Limestone Landfill near the city of Youngstown, Ohio, through its existing system and redeliver the gas to EDL’s downstream markets. The landfill gas will be processed and conditioned at what will be EDL’s largest North American RNG facility.

Greater Commercial Lending has completed nearly $73 million in USDA-guaranteed financing for two landfill gas-to-RNG facilities in North Carolina. The Foothills Renewables Project in Caldwell County, North Carolina, and the Upper Piedmont Renewables Project in Person County, North Carolina, are being developed by Evensol LLC. The North Carolina facilities will sell the RNG to BP. Construction of the facilities has begun, with completion targeted for Q3 2022.

Aemetis Inc. has begun commissioning of its $12 million biogas-RNG upgrading facility connected to the PG&E gas pipeline interconnection unit at the Keyes, California, ethanol plant site. The full system commissioning process, including PG&E’s interconnection unit, is expected to be completed in April, enabling the production of utility-grade RNG for sale to customers via pipeline delivery.

U.S. Gain recently entered into a supply agreement, through a competitive bid process, with the Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts. U.S. Gain will provide RNG to fuel LACSD-owned fleet vehicles at two maintenance yards. U.S. Gain also announced its RNG supply will be used as a feedstock into hydrogen production in the California transportation market.

Opal Fuels LLC has commenced commercial operation of a new facility to extract and capture waste methane from Rumpke Waste & Recycling’s Noble Road Landfill, transform it into RNG and transport it through Chesapeake Utilities Corp.’s wholly owned subsidiary Aspire Energy of Ohio. An affiliate of NextEra Energy Resources LLC is a joint owner of the project. The new, state-of-the-art facility, located in Shiloh, Ohio, utilizes advanced, patented technology to treat and purify landfill gas to produce pipeline quality RNG. Aspire Energy constructed a 33.1-mile pipeline that will transport the RNG. The fuel will be dispensed at Opal Fuels and fueling stations, as well as Rumpke trucks to displace diesel fuel.

A new report by the Canadian Biogas Association indicates the country’s biogas industry experienced a decade of rapid growth from 2011 to 2020, with an almost 50% jump in operating biogas projects. According to the Canadian 2020 Biogas Market Report, Canada now has 279 biogas projects from coast to coast. These projects are capturing waste methane from agricultural waste, landfills, green bin programs and municipal wastewater treatment facilities and turning it into a total of 196 MW of electricity and 6 million gigajoules of RNG. The report calculates that Canada is tapping only 13% of its easily accessible biogas potential. The  report projects that the 2020s will drive new biogas growth, with demand for RNG increasing rapidly, partly due to climate and clean energy policies at the national and provincial levels, such as RNG mandates in British Columbia and Quebec.

Clean Methane Systems LLC and Ammongas A/S have introduced amine technology to North American RNG customers, which simplifies biogas upgrading by minimizing the steps required to prepare and inject RNG into the grid. Both CMS and Ammongas have a long history of serving the biogas and RNG markets. CMS provides equipment and RNG consulting solutions for its U.S. and international clients from its Tualatin, Oregon, headquarters, and Ammongas has focused primarily on the European biogas sector from its headquarters in Glostrup, Denmark.

Air Liquide announced it is constructing what it believes is the largest biomethane production unit in the world. Located in Rockford, Illinois, the new production unit will produce biomethane from a solid waste treatment plant that is owned and operated by Waste Connections Inc. It will have a production capacity of 380 GWh per year, becoming operational by the end of 2023. Another landfill-based biomethane production unit is being built in Delavan, Wisconsin, and will be operational at the beginning of Q2 2022.

Venture Engineering & Construction Inc. has been selected as the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contractor for a $100 million-plus source-separated organic waste (SSOW) digester-to-RNG facility. Located on Long Island, New York, the site will collect SSOW such as food waste from residents, grocery stores and other commercial food entities in the area. Fats, oils and grease (FOG) will also be collected to serve as liquid feedstock for the digester. This facility will be designed to process up to 180,000 tons per year of SSOW and 30,000 tons per year of FOG into RNG, making it one of the largest such facilities in the U.S. The facility will produce approximately 1,450 MMBtu per day. The project is the eighth such RNG EPC project that Venture has been awarded in the past 12 months.

Gevo Inc. has begun the process of bringing its wholly owned dairy manure-based RNG project online. Located in northwest Iowa, the project is known as Gevo NW Iowa RNG LLC and it is projected to produce approximately 355,000 MMBtu of RNG per year. The RNG is expected to be sold into the California market under dispensing agreements BP has in place with Clean Energy Fuels Corp., the largest RNG fueling infrastructure in the U.S.

Archaea Energy Inc. reported the expansion of its commercial partnership with FortisBC Energy Inc. by entering into a new long-term RNG purchase and sale agreement. This is the second long-term commercial agreement between Archaea and FortisBC, a which serves approximately 1.2 million customers with natural gas, electricity, propane and renewable energy solutions. Under the agreement, which is subject to regulatory approval by the British Columbia Utilities Commission, FortisBC expects to annually purchase up to 7.6 million MMBtu of RNG generated by Archaea’s portfolio of RNG production facilities, for a fixed fee and period of 20 years. Upon approval, the agreement is expected to commence in 2022, with the full annual quantity beginning in 2025.

Green Impact Partners announced the signing of definitive agreements for its partnership in a dairy RNG project in Iowa. The project has secured long-term feedstock agreements with two dairies in close proximity and is expected to generate approximately 800 MMBtu per day of RNG. GIP is working to advance the final engineering, design and capital budget, as well as to secure material permits, approvals and financing. The Iowa RNG Project is similar in scope to GIP’s RNG project in Weld County, Colorado.

TPG Rise Climate announced an investment in Monarch Bioenergy, a joint venture between Roeslein Alternative Energy and a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods Inc. Launched in 2018, Monarch leverages RAE’s state-of-the-art technology and Smithfield’s innovative, sustainable farming practices to capture methane emissions and convert them into RNG. As an equal partner in the JV, TPG Rise Climate will work with RAE and Smithfield to advance agricultural innovation, enhance existing projects in Missouri, and develop new ones in select states across the U.S.