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Archaea Energy brings first-of-its-kind RNG plant online

Archaea Energy brings first-of-its-kind RNG plant online
The Archaea Energy renewable natural gas (RNG) plant in Medora, Indiana (photo courtesy bp).

In the United States (US), Archaea Energy Inc., a bp-owned company, has announced the official startup of its original Archaea Modular Design (AMD) renewable natural gas (RNG) plant in Medora, Indiana (IN).

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Located next to a landfill owned by Rumpke Waste and Recycling, an award-winning family-owned company that operates 14 landfills and 14 recycling centers across Ohio (OH), Kentucky (KY), Indiana (IN), and West Virginia (WV), this is the first plant to come online since bp America’s acquisition of Archaea in December 2022.

Modular design facilitates rapid build-out

Landfill gas (LFG), a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic waste in landfills contains methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG).

Traditionally, RNG plants have been custom-built, but the Archaea Modular Design (AMD) allows plants to be built on skids with interchangeable components.

Using a standardized modular design leads to faster builds than previous industry standards.

Using the AMD design, the Medora plant captures the gas from Rumpke’s landfill and converts it to electricity, heat, or renewable natural gas (RNG), which leads to cleaner air, less odor, and more sustainable energy when compared with traditional fossil fuel energy.

What we are doing at the Medora plant is phenomenal and it’s just the beginning of what’s to come at Archaea. This is a powerful step forward in our net zero journey to capture landfill emissions and provide customers with lower emission, lower carbon fuel. Our goal is to safely bring several AMD plants online this year. I’m in awe of our team who designed, engineered, and built this facility and we can’t wait to bring more online across the US, Starlee Sykes, CEO of Archaea Energy.

The Medora plant can process 3,200 cubic feet of LFG per minute (scfm) into RNG – enough gas to heat around 13,026 homes annually, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Landfill Gas Energy Benefits Calculator.

Our family company is constantly looking for technologies to lessen our overall impact and further our efforts to protect and preserve the environment. The addition of Archaea Energy’s RNG plant at our site will help further reduce emissions and give residents and businesses assurance that their waste is not only being properly disposed of – but also being put to good use, said Jeff Rumpke, Area President, Rumpke Waste & Recycling.

Strategic growth sector

With the acquisition of Archaea, bp is now the largest RNG producer in the US, enhancing its ability to support customers’ decarbonization goals and progressing its aim to reduce the average lifecycle carbon intensity of the energy products it sells.

Bioenergy is one of five strategic transition growth engines that bp intends to grow rapidly through this decade.

bp expects to invest up to US$8 billion more in its transition growth businesses this decade to reach more than 40 percent of its total annual capital expenditure by 2025, aiming to grow this to around 50 percent by 2030.

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