New RNG project under development in Minnesota

By Minnesota Municipal Power Agency | December 29, 2022

The Minnesota Municipal Power Agency announced on Nov. 17 that the agency plans to develop a renewable natural gas (RNG) plant at the WM landfill in Elk River, Minnesota.

MMPA and Elk River Landfill Inc., a WM affiliate, finalized a 15-year contract for MMPA to build, own and operate a renewable natural gas plant at the landfill north of the Twin Cities, on WM land adjoining the landfill on U.S. Highway 169. Under the agreement, WM will deliver landfill gas, an energy-rich natural byproduct of decomposing waste, to the MMPA plant for purification and processing before delivery to the Northern Natural Gas Pipeline.

“This project will increase MMPA’s renewable gas sources – allowing MMPA to increase its percentage of renewable electric energy generation,” said Oncu Er, chief operating officer for MMPA, a public agency providing wholesale electric power to 12 local municipalities that in turn supply power to approximately 164,000 Minnesotans.

“This RNG collaboration deepens our commitment to Minnesota’s sustainable future,” said Mike Miller, senior district manager in WM’s Upper Midwest Area. “WM is committed to providing reliable renewable energy by collecting landfill gas and converting it to produce pipeline quality gas that can be used for homes and vehicles.”

WM’s Elk River Landfill is in the process of adding capacity for ordinary municipal wastes that will extend the site’s ability to continue serving communities in Sherburne and surrounding counties, and the MMPA plant will be sized to recover and use the resulting gas. The facility will be designed to process up to approximately 3000 standard cubic feet per minute of incoming landfill gas, equivalent to approximately 90 million British thermal units per hour.

MMPA’s diverse portfolio of renewable and conventional power supply resources includes Oak Glen Wind Farm, Buffalo Solar Farm, Hometown BioEnergy and Faribault Energy Park.

WM hosts 16 RNG facilities across North America through a mix of WM renewable energy facilities and third-party developers.