Composting and Anaerobic Digestion Infrastructure Investment Insights
Infrastructure news in December 2019 highlights organics recycling opportunities.
On Dec. 11, Dominion Energy (Dominion) and Vanguard Renewables (VR) announced a more than $200 million, nationwide strategic partnership to build manure-only anaerobic digesters that produce renewable natural gas (RNG) on U.S. dairy farms. Under the strategic partnership, Dominion Energy will own the projects and market the RNG; Vanguard Renewables Ag, a subsidiary of VR, will design, develop and operate the projects. The partners have a strategic alliance with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA). The first round of projects are being developed in Georgia, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico and Utah. “DFA was integral in our decision to target these states, which have the density of dairies we need for digester development and RNG production,” says Kevin Chase, VR’s cofounder and chief investment officer. “We are seeking clusters of dairies with a minimum combined total of 20,000 to 30,000 cows to capture the amount of manure needed to make the infrastructure investment.”
Kevin Chase, Vanguard Renewables (left) and Ryan Childress, Dominion Energy (right)
The initial $200 million will fund about 15 digester/RNG facilities over the next 3 to 5 years, adds Ryan Childress, director of Dominion’s gas business development. “Our investments in renewable natural gas are an important part of our company’s comprehensive clean energy strategy. We have made significant investments in solar and offshore wind, and we are very bullish on the future of RNG. We know, from participating in the ag sector with both dairy and swine manure, that the gas quality is strong and consistent. I believe Dominion is leading the way in helping the broader industry recognize the benefits of RNG — both operationally and in terms of sustainability.”