US$38 Million RNG Facility Begins Production In South Dakota

When At Full Capacity, The 6500-Cow Dairy Farm Is Expected To Supply 1.66 Million Gallons Of Negative Carbon-Intensity RNG Annually

Clean Energy Digester At Drumgoon Dairy In South Dakota (Image Courtesy Of Clean Energy Fuels)

Clean Energy Fuels Corporation (Clean Energy) has completed a new renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility at Drumgoon Dairy in Lake Norden, South Dakota. The 6500-cow dairy farm is expected to supply 1.66 million gallons (6.28 million liters) of negative carbon-intensity RNG annually to the transportation market when at full capacity. Construction of the US$38 million RNG digester project was completed in early-December 2023 and injection into the interstate natural gas pipeline system of the RNG began within weeks. The RNG produced at Drumgoon will be virtually stored until all pathways for federal and state environmental credits are approved, and a carbon-intensity score is assigned to the RNG, expected in the first half of 2024.

“Completion of the RNG project at Drumgoon Dairy, along with several others that are right behind it, is already making a contribution to controlling harmful greenhouse gas emissions,” said Clay Corbus, senior vice president of renewables at Clean Energy. “Being a multi-generational operation, Drumgoon’s owners are always thinking about the future, whether it’s bringing in the latest technology to better track and monitor their cows or transforming their herd to antibiotic-free. Adding an RNG digester that captures the methane produced by Drumgoon’s cows and turning it into a clean fuel is the ultimate recycling project.”

The Drumgoon Dairy RNG project was financed through Clean Energy’s joint venture with BP, developed with Dynamic Renewables, and is one of several RNG projects the three companies have partnered to build at dairies in the Midwest. All the RNG produced at Drumgoon will be available at Clean Energy’s fueling infrastructure. Clean Energy sales of RNG into the transportation market for the first nine months of 2023 grew 17% over the same period of 2022, and with customers such as UPS, Republic Services, LA Metro, Knight Swift, Amazon, and others, the company said that demand of the ultra-clean fuel is expected to continue to expand.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 10% of US greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the transportation sector accounts for another 28%, according to the US Environmental Protection Agency. Capturing methane from farm waste lowers these emissions. RNG, produced by that captured methane and used as a transportation fuel, significantly lowers GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis when compared to diesel. This allows RNG to be one of the only fuels to receive a negative carbon-intensity score based on the reduction of emissions at the source and at the vehicle.