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Opal, NextEra Energy to build Minnesota’s first landfill RNG facility

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Opal Fuels and NextEra Energy Marketing have announced plans to build the first landfill renewable natural gas (RNG) production facility in Minnesota.

The project will be located at a landfill owned by Republic Services, a leader in the US environmental services industry, and interconnect with a pipeline owned by Xcel Energy, a major electric and gas utility in the region.

For many years, Opal Fuels, which was previously known as Fortistar RNG and TruStar Energy, has collected and processed gas to generate electricity at the 255-acre Pine Bend Landfill in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

NextEra Energy Marketing will work with Opal to replace the existing power generation facility with a new RNG production facility that will capture 3,200 standard cubic feet per minute of landfill gas and produce over 6 million gas gallon equivalents of RNG per year.

The Pine Bend RNG Project will create approximately 50-60 construction jobs. Once completed in the first quarter of 2022, the project will capture and convert landfill methane to produce approximately 2,140 dekatherms of RNG per day, which is enough to eliminate 43,900 tonnes of carbon and offset direct (Scope 1) emissions from 400 heavy-duty trucks every year.

“Our agreement with NextEra Energy Marketing and Republic Services offers a tremendous economic and environmental opportunity for the State of Minnesota,” said Jonathan Maurer, co-CEO of Opal.

“From both a fiscal and sustainability standpoint, RNG is the highest value product you can make from captured landfill gas. We’re proud to work with industry leaders and continue to play a major role in the decarbonisation of our nation’s economy by capturing methane to create cleaner fuel for natural gas vehicles.”

Pete Keller, vice-president of recycling and sustainability at Republic Services, commented: “As a leader in the environmental services industry, Republic Services is proud of this innovative partnership with Opal and NextEra at our Pine Bend Landfill to create Minnesota’s first RNG facility.

“This project will allow us to utilise a natural by-product of the landfill to produce low-carbon transportation fuels and other forms of renewable energy and help Republic meet its goal of sending 50% more biogas to beneficial reuse by 2030.”

Opal will operate and manage the RNG project and clean RNG fuel will be dispensed to customers via Opal’s natural gas fuelling stations.