Dane County to expand Wisconsin RNG project

By Erin Voegele | October 11, 2022

Dane County, Wisconsin, has announced plans to increase the production capacity of its renewable natural gas (RNG) facility. The county also said it plans to capture carbon emissions from the gas plant itself. The RNG projects are discussed in a 2032 budget memo released by Dane County Executive Joe Parisi on Oct. 3.

Landfill gas generated at the county landfill has been used to produce renewable energy for decades, initially in the form of electricity. Dane County officials in 2018 announced plans to construct a biogas upgrading system to enable the production of RNG. The RNG project officially opened in 2019 and was later expanded to upgrade biogas produced by dairy digesters.  

In the 2023 budget memo, Parisi said the county government currently runs 100 vehicles using RNG. “That’s not only good for the air we breathe, but also the public’s pocketbook,” he wrote. “With this year’s surge in fuel prices, we saved more than $300,000 in fuel costs by going green with RNG.”

The county is now looking to expand its RNG production. “To continue and expand our leadership in the coming year we will increase the capacity of the RNG facility and venture into a new mission: capturing carbon emissions from the gas plant itself,” Parisi wrote. We’ve never shied away from emerging technologies when there’s upside for the health and wellbeing of the place we live. I’m including $4.5 million for the development and installation of carbon capture technologies along with a new position in the Department of Waste and Renewables to work on accelerating our path toward carbon neutrality. Monitoring equipment in place at our landfill routinely tests and tracks gas that enters our RNG plant. This work – along with a series of county lead initiatives – can earn us carbon credits. To capitalize on this opportunity, I’m including funds in the budget to register the carbon reduction and sequestration work we do on a national registry.”

A full copy of the 2023 budget memo can be downloaded from the Dane County website