Waste-to-energy technology company Vanguard Renewables has announced a partnership with energy infrastructure company Enbridge on a project that will see up to $300 million being invested to develop generation and transportation infrastructure.
Vanguard Renewables will be investing $200 million to build infrastructure that will enable the firm to convert food and dairy waste to renewable natural gas. The projects will be built in the US Northeast, Southeast, and Midwest
Enbridge will purchase up to 2 billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas from the project per annum.
Enbridge will invest $100 million to develop the required transportation infrastructure to carry the gas from the project for marketing across the US. The investment will also cover the equipment required to convert the renewable natural gas into pipeline-quality gas for transportation.
The partnership is another step towards Vanguard’s goal to create a nationwide solution for sequestering methane, one of the most harmful greenhouse gases. When released into the atmosphere, methane is approximately 40 times more effective at trapping solar radiation in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide, making it one of the most powerful greenhouse gases.
By capturing methane and converting it into renewable natural gas, Enbridge and Vanguard expect to produce enough renewable energy to annually displace approximately 110,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, equivalent to removing nearly 25,000 fossil fuel-powered cars from the road.
John Hanselman, the CEO of Vanguard Renewables, said: “Our deep relationships with leading food manufacturers and retailers through the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance enable us to convert waste that is otherwise detrimental to our environment into a climate-friendly tool to help reduce the carbon footprint of our customers. Our partnership with a company the caliber and scale of Enbridge enables the seamless transmission of the RNG from our farm network to these ESG-conscious participants that are using RNG to decarbonize their thermal energy needs.”
The partnership follows Vanguard Renewables partnering with Dairy Farmers of America, Unilever, and Starbucks to have access to food wastage and to build its technology on farmlands. Farmers owning land on which the company builds its plants will receive cost savings on energy bills by using energy produced on-site and have a new revenue stream for the operations of the gas plants at their sites.
Vanguard Renewables’ business case provides a circular solution for food waste reduction, recycling, and decarbonization of the manufacturing and supply chain.
Bill Yardley, Executive Vice President and President, Gas Transmission and Midstream at Enbridge, added that the partnership is an example of how low-carbon energy technologies can be used to reduce emissions in the gas industry to accelerate the energy transition. He said the project will help his company to achieve its goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.