Aemetis, a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company focused on negative carbon intensity products, has announced the completion of significant infrastructural development work.
The California-based firm has finished construction, testing and commissioning 36 miles of additional biogas pipeline, two biogas digesters, its biogas-to-renewable natural gas upgrading facility and its utility gas pipeline interconnection unit. These have all been accepted into service.
In addition, two dairy digesters will be commissioned and become operational this month (February), with another to be fully operational in March.
Aemetis RNG is being sold into the Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) utility gas pipeline and will be stored underground until Aemetis Biogas receives approval from the California Air Resources Board (CARB) for the issuance of credits under the Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS).
The RNG production data collection required for CARB’s Pathway approval process has been completed, and applications will be submitted in February for CARB review and approval, said the company.
“Over the last several years, Aemetis has announced milestones for the significant growth of our Carbon-Negative Renewable Natural Gas operations. These milestones have included the phased construction of pipelines, biogas digesters at dairy farms and the upgrade unit that transforms the dairy biogas into RNG.
"Today, these central systems are now operational and in-service, transporting and converting the biogas from four operating dairy digesters with three more dairy digesters coming online soon,” said Andy Foster, president of Aemetis Biogas.
The pipeline project and the $12 million (€11m) biogas cleanup facility are funded in part by a $4.2m (€3.8m) grant from the California Energy Commission and a $5m (€4.6m) grant from the CPUC RNG Pipeline Interconnection Incentive Program.
Aemetis recently announced the closing of $25m (€22.9) of 20-year financing with Greater Commercial Lending (GCL) which provides loans to businesses and organisations in under-served and rural communities.
This long-term project financing was guaranteed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) through the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) and carries approximately a 6% fixed interest rate for the first five years.
“Government guaranteed loans, such as USDA REAP, can be crucial to encourage development of new and innovative projects such as the Aemetis Biogas dairy digester and pipeline project. With GCL’s support, we continue to expand the number of digesters which capture methane emissions from dairy farms and convert the methane into a negative carbon intensity renewable fuel,” said Eric McAfee, CEO and founder of Aemetis, Inc.
About 25% of the methane emissions in California are emitted from dairy waste lagoons. When fully built, the Aemetis biogas project plans to connect dairy digesters spanning approximately 60 dairy farms, capturing more than 1.65 MMBtu of dairy methane each year.
The project is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to an estimated 6.8 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide over ten years.