Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is one of the innovative ways Liberty is aiming to achieve our environmental goals. See the information below to learn more about what RNG is and about how Liberty will use it to fuel our future.
Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) is an ultra-clean and ultra-low carbon natural gas alternative. RNG is produced from various sources such as dairy and hog waste, landfills, and wastewater treatment facilities. Once it has been cleaned to pipeline quality standards, RNG is used as a substitute for fossil natural gas.
RNG is produced from various feedstock sources through a biochemical process, such as anaerobic digestion.
Anaerobic digestion is used to break down feedstock sources, such as dairy and hog waste, wastewater, and food waste. During this process, the organic waste is placed inside sealed, airtight tanks. Inside the tanks, large mixers evenly distribute microorganisms that break down the mixture in the absence of oxygen. This process results in the production of biogas. Once this biogas has been processed and purified, it is then interchangeable with conventional natural gas.
Landfill gas is produced by anaerobic digestion, only instead of occurring in a digester, this process takes place underground. As the waste begins to decompose, it releases high levels of methane and CO2 into the atmosphere and toxic substances into the earth and groundwater over time. Instead of allowing the gasses to escape, landfill gas can be captured and converted to RNG. During this process, gas is extracted from landfills using a series of underground wells, pipes, and a blower or vacuum system. This system directs the collected gas to a centralized location where it can then be processed and purified to RNG.
There are many benefits of RNG, including that it has carbon-neutral, and in some cases, carbon-negative properties. RNG reduces the need for conventional natural gas by acting as an interchangeable alternative. Additionally, RNG captures emissions of “waste” and “fugitive” methane- methane that would have otherwise been flared with no benefit. Since RNG is interchangeable with conventional natural gas, there are no updates needed to current gas infrastructure. Lastly, RNG can be used anywhere that natural gas is used, such as in transportation, heating, and power generation.
North Country Environmental Services, Inc (NCES), owned by Casella, along with the developer Rudarpa, are in the process of developing a new Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) production facility at the Bethlehem, N.H. landfill. Liberty has recently filed testimony with the New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (NHPUC) for approval to purchase and supply the RNG generated from the landfill to customers. Liberty is hopeful to gain NHPUC approval in early 2022. Once approved, we will start supplying RNG to customers by late summer/early fall of 2022.
This project will help strengthen the landfill’s sustainability profile, while producing renewable energy to serve Liberty’s natural gas customers. Capturing, cleaning and using this gas not only combats climate change, it also reduces emissions at the landfill.
Approximately 475,000 dekatherms of Renewable Natural Gas will be produced annually in the first 10 years of operation, all of which will be used to serve Liberty customers in New Hampshire. This represents approximately 4% of the gas Liberty provides to customers annually, which is about the amount of gas it would take to heat 6,000 average sized residential households annually.
Liberty is currently exploring opportunities for RNG in all of our operating areas. Stay tuned for more information about new RNG projects.