RNG Energy Solutions – Project Development
About the Company:
RNG Energy Solutions, LLC (RNG) develops, finances, owns, and manages the operations of state-of-the-art anaerobic digester projects that produce renewable natural gas. As the successor company to AgEnergy USA, RNG brings three decades of conventional and alternative energy development experience in the agricultural, urban, and industrial environments. Most notably, AgEnergy USA completed the development of the Heartland Renewable Energy project, which is the largest co-digestion anaerobic digester project in the world.
RNG Energy Solutions’ predecessor company, AgEnergy USA, LLC, was founded in 2010 to provide industry leading technology and project development capability to generate renewable energy from organic waste streams by developing, financing, constructing, owning, and operating anaerobic digester (AD) projects in North America. AgEnergy was the developer and is currently a net profit interest owner of the Heartland Biogas LLC Project.
The RNG Energy team has over 100 combined years of related industry experience. THe RNG Energy team works to develop complex energy infrastructure projects includes permitting, preliminary design, financing, construction management and operations.
About the Solution:
The stated mission of RNG Energy is to deploy proven development expertise towards the successful development of large-scale anaerobic digester projects for the production of sustainable and renewable natural gas.
Deploying proven energy infrastructure project development expertise and leveraging off the completion of the world’s largest anaerobic co-digestion project, RNG Energy is continuing development of large urban anaerobic digesters that produce renewable natural gas and manage large volumes of organic waste while supporting regional sustainability goals.
Solution Strengths, Weaknesses and Critical Indicators
- Long usable life and can be run reliably
- Creates energy and generates environmental credits
- Proper feeding & system monitoring is required to avoid system downtime
- Proven technology for odor control
- Proven technology for GHG reduction
- Proven technology for pathogen reduction
- Different types of systems produce varying gas production rates
- Requires proper preparation of the feedstock
- Requires other technologies for energy utilization
- Requires other technologies for digestate handling
- Requires other technologies to prevent nitrogen loss
- Complex systems may require expertise not available on-farm
The Heartland Digester was one of the largest anaerobic digester projects of its kind in the United States, combining food wastes and dairy manure, and converting the biogas to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). It was the first project for AgEnergy and its partners and due to its shut down there is a limited amount of information available on uptime and reliability. The project was made possible by a very unique set of economic drivers involving financing from a French utility, long term contracts for the RNG with a California municipality and California legislation that incentivizes the RNG production and use.
Newtrient has been given considerable time and information about this project and the RNG Energy team has been very forthcoming about challenges and opportunities they have faced to-date. The Weld County Board of Commissioners shut the project down due to odor complaints and a permit issue. It is Newtrient's understanding that there is currently only one verified odor complaint by the County. The company is fighting the shutdown in U.S. District Court. The ongoing viability of the project will likely be determined by how the legal battle turns out. Newtrient will continue to work with RNG Energy to further understand their capabilities and the fate of the Heartland Digester.
1. OPERATIONAL HISTORY