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Start up of Minnesota’s first landfill gas to RNG facility

Start up of Minnesota’s first landfill gas to RNG facility
The Republic Services Pine Bend Landfill in Minnesota (photo courtesy Dave Schaffhausen).

In the United States (US), OPAL Fuels Inc. (OPAL), a leading vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG), and NextEra Energy Marketing, LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, LLC, have announced the commencement of commercial operations at the first landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility in Minnesota (MN).

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The Pine Bend RNG Project is located at a landfill owned by Republic Services, Inc., a leader in the environmental services industry, and interconnected with a pipeline owned by Xcel Energy Inc, the leading electric and gas utility in the region.

The new, state-of-the-art RNG facility captures the landfill gas from Pine Bend Landfill and upgrades it into RNG.

The Pine Bend RNG project further demonstrates the continued execution of the OPAL Fuels growth strategy. With an extensive track record of delivering value from waste-to-energy, we currently manage a broad portfolio of RNG facilities, including six currently in operation, with six more in construction. We are pleased to work with best-in-class partners to make this first-of-its-kind project in Minnesota a reality said Jonathan Maurer, Co-CEO of OPAL Fuels.

At full capacity, the facility is expected to process an estimated 3,350 SCFM of LFG resulting in the production of 6.3 million gasoline gallon equivalent (GGE) per year of RNG that is then injected into Xcel Energy’s gas pipeline.

As the first U.S. energy provider to announce a comprehensive vision with aggressive goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions across all the ways our customers use energy, our collaboration with OPAL Fuels is helping build the market for renewable natural gas. We’re working to expand clean energy sources to benefit our customers and communities and renewable natural gas and projects such as Pine Bend play an important role in our net-zero emissions strategy for our natural gas business, said Chris Clark, President, Xcel Energy-Minnesota, North Dakota, and South Dakota.

Methane is a byproduct of a variety of sources and is a powerful greenhouse gas (GHG). RNG is a “right now solution” to the “right now problem” of climate change and is one of the most attractive sources of renewable energy.

We’re pleased that the Pine Bend RNG facility is operational. This facility is consistent with our belief that a substantial reduction of carbon emissions in the electricity, industrial, and transportation sectors is possible, which represents a significant investment opportunity in the coming decades said Rebecca Kujawa, President, and CEO of NextEra Energy Resources.

This project replaces a landfill gas-to-electricity project, which has now been decommissioned.

At Republic Services, we’re putting sustainability into action through innovative partnerships including this project with OPAL Fuels and NextEra Energy Resources. By utilizing a natural renewable byproduct of the landfill, we can produce a low-carbon transportation fuel that helps Minnesota and our local community achieve their climate action goals, said Matt Healy, Republic Services Midwest Area President.

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