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Brightmark breaks ground on three dairy RNG projects in Michigan

In the United States (US), waste solutions provider Brightmark LLC has broken ground on three renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in Michigan (MI). The projects are owned by and will be operated through subsidiaries of Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC, a partnership with Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
"Michigan has been a great partner and we are excited to further expand our RNG footprint here and break ground on these lifecycle carbon-negative projects," said Bob Powell, Founder, and CEO of Brightmark.

In the United States (US), waste solutions provider Brightmark LLC has broken ground on three renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in Michigan (MI). The projects are owned by and will be operated through subsidiaries of Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC, a partnership with Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Brightmark currently owns and operates 27 RNG projects in 8 states and will operate 6 RNG projects in Michigan upon completion of these 3 projects, which is expected in the first half of 2022. Of this portfolio of RNG projects, 17 are owned by subsidiaries of the joint venture with Chevron.

In addition to collectively generating on a life cycle basis approximately 89 000 tonnes of greenhouse gas (GHG) credits in accordance with the California Low Carbon Fuel Standard (CLCFS), the products generated in part from renewable feedstocks by the projects include biofertilizer, digested dairy fiber for use as cow bedding or as a peat moss substitute, and irrigation water.

Transitioning to a lower-carbon energy economy creates significant opportunities for Michigan to put people to work in good-paying jobs in industries that are key to addressing climate change. We are proud to be a leader in supporting more sustainable farming practices, and these new RNG projects have the potential to deliver great financial and environmental benefits to the farmers and communities that we partner with, said Bob Powell, Founder, and CEO of Brightmark.

In October 2020, Brightmark LLC and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. originally announced the formation of the Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC joint venture to own projects across the United States to produce and market dairy biomethane, a renewable natural gas.

Equity investments by each company in the new venture fund construction of infrastructure and commercial operation of dairy biomethane projects in multiple states. Chevron purchases RNG produced from these projects and markets the volumes for use in vehicles operating on compressed natural gas (CNG).

Working with Brightmark to add new projects in Michigan underpins our commitment to improving how affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy is developed and delivered. Chevron is seeking to advance the energy transition by leveraging our existing capabilities across the full RNG value chain – marketing, sales, distribution, brands, and infrastructure – to maximize margin capture and help industries and consumers that use our products build a lower-carbon future, said Andy Walz, President of Chevron Americas Fuels & Lubricants.

Michigan project overviews

The Red Arrow RNG project in Hartford will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert 200,000 gallons of manure per day from 5 750 dairy cows into about 128 000 MMBtu of RNG each year. The facility will generate approximately 34 000 tonnes of GHG each year. The RNG produced at Red Arrow Dairy will be injected into the ANR Pipeline.

One of my favorite parts of the job is implementing new technologies here on the farm that enable us to run more efficiently and improve the sustainability of our operations. I’m excited to get our anaerobic digester up and running to see the positive impacts it will have on farm operations, said Rudolf de Jong, President of Red Arrow Dairy.

The SunRyz RNG project in Morenci will convert 133 000 gallons of manure per day from 3 250 dairy cows into about 76 000 MMBtu of RNG each year. The facility will generate approximately 27 000 tonnes of GHG credits. The RNG generated at SunRyz will be injected into the nearby Rover pipeline.

Adding an anaerobic digester is just the latest sustainability upgrade we’ve made at SunRyz. We’re always looking for ways to reduce costs and be good stewards of the environment at the same time. Brightmark gave us an opportunity to do just that with this project, said Case Ryzebol, Manager of SunRyz Dairy.

The Meadow Rock Renewable Natural Gas project in Greenville, Michigan will convert 75 000 gallons of manure per day from 3 020 dairy cows into nearly 67 000 MMBtu of RNG each year. The facility will generate approximately 28 000 tonnes of GHG credits. The RNG produced at Meadow Rock will be injected into the ANR Pipeline.

We’re proud to be partnering with Brightmark on anaerobic digestion projects at two of our Michigan dairy farms. The Brightmark team has been responsive to our needs from day one, and we’re looking forward to the sustainability and financial benefits of these projects, said Jordan den Dulk, Manager of Meadow Rock Dairy.

After the methane is extracted from the processed manure, the remaining soil nutrients will be returned to the farmers for use as fertilizer and water for forage crops for their cows. These partnerships will allow the farms to reduce land application of raw manure and improve odor, water quality, and nutrient management practices.

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