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Clean Energy Fuels, Maas Energy Works partner on nine RNG projects

Clean Energy Fuels, Maas Energy Works partner on nine RNG projects
A Maas Energy Works covered lagoon digester at the Open Sky Ranch in Riverdale, California (photo courtesy Mass Energy Works).

In the United States (US), Clean Energy Fuels Corporation, the largest provider of the cleanest fuel for the transportation market, and Maas Energy Works Inc., the nation’s largest dairy digester developer, have announced a new joint development agreement to build nine renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities at dairy farms across seven states.

This new endeavor will include dairies located in Colorado (CO), South Dakota (SD), Georgia (GA), Florida (FL), Iowa (IA), Nebraska (NE), and New Mexico (NM), and will collect the manure from a combined herd size of approximately 35,000 cows preventing the methane emissions from entering the atmosphere.

The nine projects, each subject to finalizing diligence before beginning construction, are expected to be completed in 2026 and will produce up to an estimated 4 million gallons annually of ultra-clean RNG, a negative carbon-intensity transportation fuel that will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

Lagoon cover digesters

Industry pioneer Maas Energy Works has completed over 60 dairy digester projects over the past decade.

The team specializes in lagoon cover digesters which involve a large tarp over a manure lagoon to capture the methane emissions. This process makes these facilities significantly less expensive to build and operate compared to tank digesters seen at other RNG plants.

Financed by Clean Energy, the nine sites are forecasted to cost approximately US$130 million in total.

This joint venture is clear proof that family farms paired with private businesses are an unstopped force in achieving decarbonization. If the markets for renewable fuels are clear and consistent, then America’s biogas industry will deliver. We will soon be capturing fugitive manure emissions and turning them into carbon-negative truck fuel with our partners at Clean Energy, said Daryl Maas, CEO of Maas Energy Works.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 10 percent of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the transportation sector accounts for another 28 percent, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Capturing methane from farm waste lowers these emissions. RNG, produced by captured methane and used as a transportation fuel, significantly lowers GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis when compared to fossil diesel.

This allows RNG to be one of the only fuels to receive a negative carbon-intensity score based on the reduction of emissions at the source and at the vehicle.

This JV brings together expertise from a seasoned RNG developer and producer and Clean Energy’s extensive RNG distribution network and growing RNG customer base. We are excited to continue our long working relationship with the team at Maas Energy Works to get these facilities online and produce pipeline quality RNG to help supply our transportation fleet customers with clean fuel to help them meet their sustainability goals, said Clay Corbus, SVP of renewables at Clean Energy.

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