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OPAL Fuels and Paloma Dairy inaugurate Sunoma Renewable Biofuel project

In the United States (US), OPAL Fuels LLC, a vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG) has celebrated the ribbon-cutting ceremony of its new Sunoma Renewable Natural Gas Facility at Paloma Dairy in Gila Bend, Arizona (AZ). The new facility will produce 1.6 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) of renewable vehicle fuel annually for the heavy-duty trucking sector—enough fuel to move 10 million miles of freight.

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OPAL Fuels LLC, has held a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the opening of its new Sunoma Renewable Natural Gas Facility at Paloma Dairy in Gila Bend, Arizona (AZ). Present for this ceremony held on November 10, 2021, were Adam Comora and Jonathan Maurer, Co-CEOs, OPAL Fuels, Allan Van Hofwegen, Partner, Paloma Dairy, Carlos Ramos, Constituent Affairs Representative for Senator Kyrsten Sinema, Luis Heredia, Arizona State Director for Senator Mark Kelly, Arizona State Senator Sine Kerr, as well as representatives from Montrose Environmental Group, Live Oak Bank, Southwest Gas Company, Industrial Services Company (ISC) and Black Bear Environmental Assets (photo courtesy Phoenix Headshots).

OPAL Fuels LLC, a Fortistar portfolio company, brings together Fortistar Methane Group, Fortistar RNG, and TruStar Energy to create a vertically integrated renewable fuels platform in the production and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) for the heavy-duty truck market.

The newly opened Sunoma Digester at Paloma Dairy is expected to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by limiting methane emissions from the dairy and carbon emissions from trucks – totaling to an annual emissions reduction of 54 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq).

In doing so, the project also flips a substantial cost – managing dairy waste – for Paloma Dairy into a significant revenue stream while it employed 50 construction personnel and created four full-time positions.

During the event, speakers addressed how there does not need to be a trade-off between fighting the climate crisis and doing what is best for the economy and for business. Representatives for Arizona Sens. Sinema and Kelly stressed the need for an “all of the above” approach to combatting the climate crisis, citing the Sunoma Digester as a prime example.

We are excited to celebrate the Sunoma Renewable Biofuel Project with the Van Hofwegen family. The Sunoma Dairy Digester at the Paloma Dairy in Gila Bend, Arizona proves there does not have to be a trade-off between economic growth and environmental responsibility, said Adam Comora, Co-CEO of OPAL Fuels.

Large dairy farm

Paloma Dairy is owned by the Van Hofwegen family, a fourth-generation dairy farm family in Gila Bend, AZ. The farm relies on the latest radio-frequency identification (RFID) technology that helps to provide its distinctive black and white Holstein cows with individualized care and provisions.

Paloma Dairy keeps track of the entire health record of each cow via its signature RFID technology, which also allows employees to check on the health of each cow daily. In addition to the care of over 10 000 animals, the farm produces cow feed via alfalfa, corn silage, wheat, and barley across 7 000 acres of farmland.

We are thrilled that OPAL Fuels could help us grow our business and help us do our part to overcome climate change. As a multi-generational dairy, we want to leave behind both a business our children are proud of and a planet free from climate change’s worst impacts said Allan Van Hofwegen of Paloma Dairy.

Montrose Environmental Group completed design and engineering for the project and provided construction oversight and equipment procurement. ISC led the construction of the system. The project is interconnected with Southwest Gas Company, which is purchasing the gas.

Debt financing was provided by Live Oak Bank and the development of the project was shared by Black Bear Environmental Assets and OPAL Fuels.

Including the Sunoma Biofuels Project, OPAL Fuels is investing more than US$900 million dollars into the business with three operating projects, seven in construction and sixteen in advanced development.

Upon completion, OPAL Fuels will be dispensing in excess of 150 million GGE per year, equivalent to removing more than 1.6 million tonnes of carbon annually.

This the company says equates to eliminating Scope 1 emissions from approximately 17 000 trucks each year. Additionally, OPAL Fuels has built more than 350 RNG projects nationwide, with targets to double that in the coming years.

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