Minnesota landfill gas-to-RNG project begins operations

By Opal Fuels LLC | October 25, 2022

Opal Fuels Inc., a leading vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG), and NextEra Energy Marketing LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC, today announced the commencement of commercial operations at the first landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility in Minnesota. The Pine Bend RNG Project is located at a landfill owned by Republic Services, Inc., a leader in the environmental services industry, and interconnected with a pipeline owned by Xcel Energy, the leading electric and gas utility in the region.

The new, state-of-the-art RNG facility captures naturally occurring biogas, made up in part by methane, from Pine Bend Landfill and transforms it into RNG. Methane is a natural byproduct of a variety of sources and is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG). RNG is the right now solution to the right now problem of climate change and is one of the most attractive sources of renewable energy.

This project replaces a landfill gas-to-electricity project, which has now been decommissioned. At full capacity, the facility is expected to process an estimated 3,350 SCFM of landfill gas resulting in the production of 6.3 million gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) per year of RNG. The low-carbon gas is then injected into Xcel Energy’s gas pipeline. This RNG, when used as transportation fuel rather than diesel, will avoid GHG emissions equivalent to achieving zero Scope 1 and Scope 2 emissions from approximately 484 heavy-duty trucks per year.

“The Pine Bend RNG project further demonstrates the continued execution of the Opal Fuels growth strategy,” said Jonathan Maurer, co-CEO of Opal Fuels. “With an extensive track record of delivering value from waste-to-energy, we currently manage a broad portfolio of RNG facilities, including six currently in operation, with six more in construction. We are pleased to work with best-in-class partners to make this first-of-its-kind project in Minnesota a reality.”

“We're pleased that the Pine Bend RNG facility is operational,” said Rebecca Kujawa, president and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources. “This facility is consistent with our belief that a substantial reduction of carbon emissions in the electricity, industrial, and transportation sectors is possible, which represents a significant investment opportunity in the coming decades.”

“At Republic Services, we’re putting sustainability in action through innovative partnerships including this project with Opal Fuels and NextEra Energy Resources,” said Matt Healy, Republic Services Midwest area president. “By utilizing a natural renewable byproduct of the landfill, we can produce a low-carbon transportation fuel that helps Minnesota and our local community achieve their climate action goals.”

“As the first U.S. energy provider to announce a comprehensive vision with aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all the ways our customers use energy, our collaboration with Opal Fuels is helping build the market for renewable natural gas,” said Chris Clark, president, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota. “We’re working to expand clean energy sources to benefit our customers and communities and renewable natural gas and projects such as Pine Bend play an important role in our net-zero emissions strategy for our natural gas business.”