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Industry Awards Provide A Fascinating Snapshot Of Biogas Development In America

Industry awards provide a fascinating snapshot of biogas development in America

 

Eight biogas projects have been recognised by the American Biogas Council (ABC) for their outstanding performance and contribution to the US biogas industry. The winners provide a fascinating insight into how the American biogas industry is developing.

Centralised grid injection, for instance, is clearly an emerging trend.

The awards were announced at the sold-out Biogas Industry Awards and Dinner, held at the ABC’s annual conference BioCycle REFOR19.

This year, five biogas producers received sector-specific Project of the Year awards, covering dairy, agriculture, merchant, municipal, and landfill operations. There were also awards for Innovation, Longevity and Up-And-Coming Biogas project, reflecting the rising number of projects in development.

“These projects set the example for what excellent biogas projects and innovation look like. Together, we are breaking new ground in our rapidly growing industry which builds systems that recycle organics material into renewable energy and soil products,” said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the ABC.

The ABC is the only national trade association representing the entire biogas industry in the US, representing over 200 companies in all parts of the biogas supply chain who are dedicated to maximizing the production and use of biogas from organic waste.

There are currently over 2,200 operational biogas systems America with the potential for at least 13,500 new systems to be built, say the ABC, which also recorded that investment in new plants topped $1bn in 2018.

2019 Project of the Year

Agriculture, Dairy – Calumet Renewable Energy | Newton, WI

ABC Members: DTE Biomass Energy, Roeslein Alternative Energy, DVO, Inc.

Recognised for the use of an innovative business model to manage dairy RNG through a virtual pipeline.

 

The first dairy-based renewable natural gas (RNG) project in the state of Wisconsin, it is also the first in the US to use a virtual pipeline to collect and purify raw biogas. This project collects and purifies raw biogas piped from three local digesters.

RNG from two satellite farms is compressed and trucked to the central facility outside Manitowoc, where it is decompressed and injected into the natural gas pipeline. This project has capacity to allow additional dairies across Wisconsin to engage in the process. The company has three more remote RNG processing facilities under construction, scheduled to be operational early next year.

Agriculture, Other – Valley View | Greencastle, MO

ABC Members: Roeslein Alternative Energy

Recognised for the continued commitment of Roeslein and Smithfield to generate RNG from hog waste.

Smithfield Foods has set a target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from its operations by 25% by 2025. At this facility, working with Roeslein, a low-pressure natural gas transmission line has been developed, connecting the hog farm, located in Northern Missouri, with the City of Milan’s natural gas distribution system; the first pipeline built to transport RNG to a local distribution company in Missouri.  The facility has also introduced a second gas cleaning system and added a further eight lagoons, to capture more biogas.

Merchant – Kompogas San Luis Obispo | San Luis Obispo, CA

ABC Members: Hitachi Zosen Inova

Recognised for the deployment of advanced organic waste processing technology and a unique project financing strategy.

Hitachi Zosen INOVA U.S.A., LLC is constructing and will operate a state-of-the-art dry anaerobic digestion facility at the Waste Connections’ collection yard in San Luis Obispo. The project will help meet California’s waste diversion law, which aims to reduce wastes going to landfill by 75% by 2020. Yard and food waste will be the main components of the feedstock. The biogas will be used to generate electricity while the solid digestate and liquid fertilizer will be sold as compost and fertilizer. The facility was enabled by a loan from the Japan Bank for International Cooperation and private institutions.

Municipal – Honouliuli WWTP Biogas Upgrading w/ Hawaii Gas & DMT Clear Gas Solutions | Ewa Beach, HI

ABC Members: DMT Clear Gas Solutions

 Recognised for the deployment of DMT Clear Gas Solutions’ advanced gas cleaning technology on municipal biogas to reduce the carbon footprint of the Honouliuli natural gas system, making it more renewable.

In December 2018, Hawaii Gas became the first in the state to capture and process biogas using DMT’s two-stage membrane separation technology for biogas upgrading. In partnership with the City and County of Honolulu, the first-of-its-kind RNG facility will produce about 800,000 therms (23.4GWh) of energy per year, enough gas for 5,555 homes. By selling the biogas to Hawaii Gas, the City and County of Honolulu will generate approximately $1.6 million of revenue per year.

Landfill – Dane County RNG Facility | Madison, WI

ABC Members: Dane County Department of Public Works, Highway and Transportation

Recognised for the deployment of innovative state-of-the-art cleaning technology to meet stringent RNG pipeline gas requirements.

Dane County Department of Waste and Renewables owns and operates a large regional landfill in Madison, Wisconsin – Dane County Landfill Site No.2. The site introduced a RNG facility in April, to convert landfill gas to pipeline grade gas for use as transportation fuel. This state-of-the-art facility utilises various technologies to condition the landfill gas to the stringent pipeline standards. Additionally, the facility added an off-loading station for regional digesters to truck in RNG for injection into the interstate pipeline, essentially opening the market for other sources of biogas and aiding in the growth of the biogas industry in Wisconsin.

2019 Innovation of the Year

Renovar Arlington Ltd – Landfill and Waste-Water Digester Gas Upgrading | Landenberg, PA

ABC Members: Air Liquide Advanced Business & Technologies

Recognised for an extremely innovative business model and deployment of cutting-edge technology.

This RNG project takes raw feed gas from two landfills and a wastewater treatment plant. It has achieved markedly higher methane volumes since incorporating Air Liquide’s Biogaz system for removing impurities in gas. The addition of the Air Liquide unit has improved the facility’s robustness and ability to process biogas, resulting in higher gas volumes.

2019 Longevity Award – 5+ Years of Continuous Operation

Jordan Dairy Farm | Rutland, MA

ABC Members: Vanguard Renewables

Jordan Dairy Farm was the first dairy in Massachusetts to use anaerobic digester technology to blend farm manure, food scraps and food processing by-products to produce biogas. The digester system, owned and operated by Vanguard Renewables, was commissioned in 2011 and uses approximately 25% manure – from 350 cows – and 75% organic food waste. Annually, more than 20,000 tons of food waste from food processors and 9,000 tons of manure is treated in a 500,000-gallon digestion tank,  producing more than 7,008 MWh of renewable energy and generating approximately $200 per cow per year in revenue and cost savings for the dairy from power, heat, bedding, and odour-free liquid fertilizer that increases crop yields. The digester offsets 19,779 of CO2 emissions daily.

2019 Up-And-Coming Biogas Project

Vanguard/Vermont Gas Project | Salisbury, VT

ABC Members: Vanguard Renewables

Recognised for creating an exciting partnership between a local gas utility, academic institution, farm, and investor, hopefully to be repeated across the country.

This project is a unique partnership between Vanguard Renewables, Vermont Gas, Middlebury College and Goodrich Family farm in Salisbury, Vermont. The on-farm anaerobic digester will create biogas from manure and food waste, to be converted into pipeline quality gas for use by Middlebury College and Vermont Gas’ customers.

This project is a first of its kind, due to its size and the fact that the renewable gas will be sold to end customers and is not dependent on the RIN (green gas certificate) markets. This project will bring diversity to the industry by developing markets for RNG outside the RIN markets. The facility will also have phosphorus removal system that will address water quality issues on the farm.

 

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