Dominion Energy Utah and the Utah Inland Port Authority (UIPA) have signed a joint cooperation statement aimed at reducing air pollution and improving energy efficiency.
The partnership will explore the use and development of “innovative programs and technologies” associated with natural gas development, including renewable natural gas (RNG), alternative fuels, and energy efficiency.
Pipeline-quality RNG is produced from existing waste streams and a variety of sustainable biomass sources, including wastewater, agricultural waste, food waste, or landfill waste.
The four-year agreement will focus on two areas: alternative fuels and innovative energy technologies. This includes the study and development of pilot programmes aimed at converting or replacing conventional vehicles, including short-line railroad engines, heavy-, medium- and light-duty trucks, forklifts, and other cargo transport vehicles, to operate on RNG or other clean sources.
“The pressure for companies to transfer to sustainable energy is coming from customers and investors, but that switch takes time and resources,” said Jack Hedge, executive director of UIPA.
“Collaboration is key to getting over those hurdles and UIPA is dedicated to helping harness these emerging and innovative fuel and energy opportunities.”
Craig Wagstaff, Dominion Energy’s senior vice-president and general manager of Western Distribution, said: “Natural gas is a viable answer for meeting the energy needs of today and tomorrow, including being part of a net-zero future.
“This partnership allows us to explore the most innovative technology and apply it to the benefit of Utah residents, businesses and environment.”
Hedge added: “We have the potential to reinvent current systems through pilot programmes that use RNG from sources such as methane recapture from landfills. We need to look at all the options out there.”
Dominion Energy Utah is working to reduce its methane emissions by 65% over the next 10 years, 80% by 2040 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050.