Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has partnered with enviro-tech firm CleanBay Renewables to produce sustainable renewable natural gas (RNG).
The firms will produce poultry litter-derived RNG, which will generate greenhouse gas (GHG) credits associated with vehicular usage and provide Chesapeake Utilities with the opportunity to bring additional RNG to its Delmarva operations on the US east coast.
Under the agreement, Chesapeake Utilities will transport the RNG produced at CleanBay’s planned bio-refinery in Westover, Maryland, to its natural gas infrastructure in the Delmarva region. CleanBay will be investing more than $200 million (€177 million) in the new facility and site preparation is already underway.
The plant will recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually. CleanBay can generate 765,000 MMBTUs of sustainable RNG, enough to power 10,000 homes.
The RNG will reach the market through the joint effort of Chesapeake Utilities and its subsidiaries, Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company (ESNG) and Marlin Gas Services. Using a virtual pipeline concept, Marlin Gas will transport RNG from the CleanBay facility to Eastern Shore Natural Gas, Chesapeake Utilities’ interstate infrastructure pipeline, where it will be distributed to end-use customers.
Thomas Spangler, CleanBay Renewables’ executive chairman, said: “Through this partnership, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has an immediate and scalable opportunity to further impact climate change.
“Our process to turn poultry litter into RNG is a sustainable, environmentally friendly way to both positively influence our region’s poultry ecosystem and reduce US GHG emissions for end use customers including powering vehicle fleets with clean, green energy.”
Chesapeake Utilities’ president and CEO Jeff Householder commented: “Utilising the RNG derived from processing excess poultry industry organics in the Delmarva region and transforming that into a carbon-negative sustainable energy source, supports our long-standing commitment to our customers and communities to invest in a resilient, environmentally-friendly and diverse energy supply.
“This is a win-win for the region as farmers on the Delmarva Peninsula also need an economical way to dispose of agricultural waste, prevent runoff into local waters, and enrich the soil to increase future agricultural production.”
The clean energy produced at each facility will reduce 550,000 tons annually of GHG emission equivalents, according to CleanBay’s CEO Donal Buckley, equal to removing 107,795 gasoline-fuelled vehicles off the road.