In the United States (US), Cayuga RNG Holdings, LLC (Cayuga RNG) has announced that it has entered into definitive agreements to develop dairy farm digester projects to produce renewable natural gas (RNG) in upstate New York (NY). Cayuga RNG is a joint venture owned by a subsidiary of UGI Energy Services (UGIES), a subsidiary of UGI Corporation (UGI), and energy project developer Global Common Energy, LLC (GCE).
Based in Garden City, NY, GCE designs, develops, owns, and operates renewable and fossil-fueled power plants, microgrids, on-site generation projects, and large-scale anaerobic digestion (AD) projects that produce RNG and organic-based soil amendments.
GCE-developed energy projects include a 54 MW peaking power plant, two 12.5 MW biomass power plants in California (CA), an anaerobic digester/co-generation facility, a 150 000 ton per year wood pellet plant in Georgia (GA), and ethanol plants, among others. Marathon Capital acted as a financial advisor for GCE.
Cayuga RNG is in the process of developing other dairy digesters in Cayuga County and upstate New York (NY). RNG projects reduce waste and long-term greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, while also increasing the use of renewable energy. GHI Energy, LLC (GHI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of UGIES, will be the exclusive off-taker and marketer of RNG for Cayuga RNG.
My partner, Jim Fitzgerald, and I have been in the environmental, sustainability, electric grid resilience, and renewable fuels space for some time. We look forward to teaming with UGIES to support the dairy industry as it moves to become more environmentally sustainable by reducing fugitive methane emissions from dairy operations while producing RNG and reducing the demand for fossil fuels. In addition to the environmental benefits, these projects also provide the dairies (many family-owned and operated) with financial support by monetizing a former waste stream. We look forward to growing Cayuga RNG with UGIES’ support, said Robert J. Foxen, President of GCE.
Spruce Haven Farm first out
Cayuga RNG’s first project will be developed at the Spruce Haven Farm (Spruce Haven), located in the Finger Lakes region of Cayuga County. The project will incorporate an existing anaerobic digester that generates biogas, which is currently used to produce renewable electricity.
Spruce Haven is a family farm founded in 1987 by Doug and Janet Young, along with Janet’s father, Dave Camp, and currently operates with nearly 2 000 cows and 1 700 heifers.
Spruce Haven Farm has worked toward developing RNG for 20 years. Bob Foxen has led the journey for us and has done a great job connecting us with UGIES, the ideal partner. Our shared vision of a strong economy based on renewable energy is taking a major step forward, said Doug Young, Managing Member of Spruce Haven Farm.
The proposed project, which is expected to be completed in the second half of the calendar year 2022, will upgrade the biogas to produce an expected 50 million cubic feet of RNG each year from the on-site dairy waste feedstock. The RNG supply will be delivered to a local natural gas pipeline serving its regional distribution system.
For nearly 140 years, UGI has focused on providing safe, reliable service to its customers and to the many communities it serves. In 2020, UGI announced its acquisition of GHI Energy, LLC, an RNG marketing business based in Houston, Texas. At that time, UGI outlined how that investment would provide a platform for growth in other RNG projects. UGI’s investment in Cayuga RNG reinforces our commitment to the development of RNG and sustainable energy. Additionally, the investment in Cayuga RNG supports the company’s existing greenhouse gas emission reduction strategies that will be highlighted in UGI’s upcoming environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report, said Robert F. Beard, UGI’s EVP – Natural Gas.