Green Era, bp partner to sell RNG produced via Chicago AD project

Green Era has partnered with bp to sell renewable energy produced at its anaerobic digestion (AD) facility in Chicago, US.

The collaboration forms part of a $32 million (€27.1 million) revitalisation project to bring renewable energy, jobs, and sustainable food to a historic Chicago community.

A $3 million (€2.5 million) state investment has been allocated to Green Era Urban Farming Campus. Chicago Governor JP Pritzker joined Green Era and members of the Auburn Gresham community to announce the funding that will help bring a new urban farming campus to Chicago’s south side.

The major project will transform a vacant brownfield site into a new urban farming area to provide access to fresh food, renewable energy, and growth for a community that has historically suffered from disinvestment and lack of employment opportunities, according to Illinois Government.

“For years, this project has been a brilliant proposal on paper, lacking the funding to get off the ground,” said Governor JB Pritzker, “and the brownfield where we now stand has been vacant for decades more.

“But this is a project that incorporates renewable energy, food production, availability of healthy foods, and climate-smart job training. It’s exactly the kind of 21st-century vision that deserves our investment, and that’s why the State of Illinois is providing $2 million (€1.69 million) in funding to launch construction this month, setting Green Era up for completion in the spring of 2022.”

Green Era’s farming campus will transform waste bound for landfill into reusable sustainable energy for local businesses using AD. The project offers ‘wide-ranging’ environmental benefits, according to the Illinois Government, with an estimated 85,000 tons of recycled food and waste reducing up to 42,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to taking 9,182 passenger vehicles off the road per year.

By collaborating with bp, Green Era will expand access to renewable natural gas (RNG) that can be used for heating and transportation fuels, while illustrating the market for its products beyond Chicago.

Janet Kong, bp regional business leader, Global Oil Americas, said: “When bp was approached by Green Era to collaborate on this project, we knew it would be a great opportunity to support sustainable neighbourhoods and demonstrate there is a market for low-carbon fuels like RNG.

“It’s exciting to be a part of a local project that fits with bp’s ambition to get to net-zero by 2050 sooner and help cities get there too.”

“Green Era and its partners will transform this contaminated, brownfield parcel of land into a beautifully floral and edible landscape that will serve as a source of education, growth, and pride for the community,” said Erika Allen, co-founder of Green Era.

“We are very thankful for this grant and eager to establish the city as an international model for spurring economic development and serving the local community through a sustainability project right here in the Auburn-Gresham community.”

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