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Brightmark breaks ground on three RNG projects in Michigan

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Brightmark has broken ground on three renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in Michigan, US.

The projects are owned by and will be operated through subsidiaries of Brightmark RNG Holdings, a partnership with Chevron USA.

In October last year, Brightmark and Chevron USA originally announced the formation of their joint venture (JV) to own projects across the US to produce market dairy biomethane (RNG). Equity investments by each firm in the new venture fund construction of infrastructure and commercial operation of dairy biomethane projects in multiple states.

Chevron purchases RNG from these projects and markets the volumes for use in vehicles operating on compressed natural gas.

Brightmark currently owns and operates 27 RNG projects in eight states and will operate six RNG projects in Michigan on completion of these three projects, which is expected in the first half of 2022. Of this portfolio of RNG projects, 17 are owned by subsidiaries of the JV with Chevron.

The Red Arrow RNG project in Hartford will use anaerobic digestion (AD) to convert 200,000 gallons of manure daily from 5,750 dairy cows into about 128,000 MMBtu of RNG per year. The facility will generate around 34,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas GHG) credits each year. The RNG produced at Red Arrow Dairy will be injected into the ANR Pipeline.

The SunRyz RNG project in Morenci will convert 133,000 gallons of manure per day from 3,250 dairy cows into about 76,000 MMBtu of RNG annually. The plant will generate around 27,000 tonnes of GHG emissions credits. The RNG generated at SunRyz will be injected into the nearby Rover pipeline.

“Adding an anaerobic digester is just the latest sustainability upgrade we’ve made at SunRyz,” said Case Ryzebol, manager of SunRyz Dairy.

“We’re always looking for ways to reduce costs and be good stewards of the environment at the same time. Brightmark gave us an opportunity to do just that with this project.”

The Meadow Rock RNG project in Greenville will convert 75,000 gallons of manure per day from 3,020 dairy cows into nearly 67,000 MMBtu of RNG each year. The facility will generate around 28,000 tonnes of GHG emissions credits. The RNG produced at Meadow Rock will be injected into the ANR Pipeline.

“Michigan has been a great partner and we are excited to further expand our RNG footprint here and break ground on these lifecycle carbon-negative projects,” said Bob Powell, founder and CEO of Brightmark.

“Transitioning to a lower-carbon energy economy creates significant opportunities for Michigan to put people to work in good-paying jobs in industries that are key to addressing climate change.

“We are proud to be a leader in supporting more sustainable farming practices and these new RNG projects have the potential to deliver great financial and environmental benefits to the farmers and communities that we partner with.”

Andy Walz, president of Chevron Americas Fuels & Lubricants, said: “Working with Brightmark to add new projects in Michigan underpins our commitment to improving how affordable, reliable, ever-cleaner energy is developed and delivered.

“Chevron is seeking to advance the energy transition by leveraging our existing capabilities across the full RNG value chain – marketing, sales, distribution, brands and infrastructure – to maximise margin capture and help industries and consumers that use our products build a lower carbon future.”