Archaea Energy Lands First Deal With A US Utility

    Archaea Energy Signs 21-Year Renewable Natural Gas Agreement With Northwest Natural Gas Company

    Aerial View Of A NiTechStyle III Nitrogen Rejection Unit (NRU)

    Archaea Energy (Archaea), a developer of renewable natural gas (RNG) resources, entered into a long-term RNG purchase and sale agreement with NW Natural Holdings, which provides natural gas service to around 2.5 million Oregon and Southwest Washington residents.

    “Under the agreement, NW Natural will purchase the environmental attributes generated by Archaea related to up to one million MMBtu of RNG annually from its portfolio of RNG production facilities for a fixed fee for a period of 21 years,” said Archaea in a statement. “The agreement will commence in early 2022, with the full annual quantity beginning in 2025. The RNG produced by Archaea for this long-term partnership is expected to have a positive impact through avoided methane emissions at US landfills and displacement of conventional natural gas.”

    “We are pleased to partner with NW Natural and look forward to our multi-decade business relationship,” said Nick Stork, Archaea co-founder and CEO. “This agreement, our first with a US utility, is a testament to the strength of our commercial offerings and highlights our ability to help utilities provide lower carbon options to their customers and achieve their sustainability goals.”

    “We’re excited to work with the experienced leadership at Archaea to help lower emissions on behalf of our customers,” said David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO. “This agreement is another meaningful step on the path to achieving our long-term carbon neutrality goal, while also helping communities close the loop on waste.”

    Archaea’s Assai project is expected to be the world’s largest landfill gas to RNG plant.
    (Image Courtesy Of Archaea Energy)

    Gas Processing And NRU Solutions Help Landfills Say Farewell To Flaring

    Archaea’s deal with NW Natural follows a series of partnerships aimed at growing the production and use of RNG to reduce global emissions.

    A NiTechStyle III Tower

    Earlier this year, BCCK Holding Company (BCCK), an engineering, procurement, fabrication, and field construction services company, announced that it will provide Archaea with a 13,700-SCFM Style IV NiTech Nitrogen Rejection Unit (NRU). In addition to the NRU, BCCK is providing Archaea with oxygen and carbon dioxide (CO2) removal systems and residue compression that will be integrated with the remainder of the gas plant being provided by Archaea Energy. BCCK’s NRU and associated equipment will operate at Archaea’s Assai facility located at the Keystone Sanitary landfill in Dunmore, Pennsylvania. With natural gas production of 11,707 Mscf/d, the Assai project is expected to be the largest high Btu landfill gas (LFG) to energy plant in the world.

    Landfill Methane Emissions Are A Big Problem

    According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), municipal solid waste landfills contributed about 15% of human-related methane emissions in 2018, roughly equivalent to the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of 20.6 million passenger cars or 11 million US homes. Landfill emissions primarily come from LFG, a natural byproduct of the decomposition of organic material. LFG consists of about 50% methane and 50% CO2.

    One option is to flare LFG, which costs money and is harmful to the environment. Another solution is to turn LFG into useful energy, or what’s now called RNG, by either increasing its methane content or removing non-methane components. Archaea’s Assai facility is the latter option. By removing non-methane components, it will create RNG that can be used for pipeline quality gas, compressed natural gas (CNG), or even liquefied natural gas (LNG).

    A NiTech Processing Skid

    Archaea’s Nationwide Aspirations

    Founded in 2018 and based out of Pennsylvania, Archaea is aggressively developing seven projects throughout the United States that aim to reduce GHG emissions from existing natural gas infrastructure. Six of the seven projects aim to produce a combined 20,487 Mscf/d of RNG, over half of which will be from the Assai plant. The seventh project will utilize gas from two landfills in Newport Beach, California, and Colton, California, to produce 7 tons (6.4 tonnes) per day of hydrogen. Archaea received funding from the Rice Investment Group and Saltonstall & Co. and has partnered with notable institutions, including the University of California (UC) system. Archaea’s Bernie project in San Bernardino Country will deliver clean methane to an onsite treatment plant that will turn it into RNG for use on UC campuses.