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San Joaquin Renewables secures $165m for agricultural RNG project

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San Joaquin Renewables (SJR) has secured $165 million (€142 million) for its flagship RNG project.

The company reached an agreement with Cresta Fund Management and Silverpeak Energy Partners to invest the funds in developing and constructing a biomass RNG project near McFarland, California.

Frontline BioEnergy, a waste and biomass gasification solutions provider, is developing the project, which will take orchard residuals and shells from San Joaquin Valley farms and convert them into RNG that will be sold as a transport fuel.

Additionally, the project will sequester CO2 in an EPA Class VI sequestration well located on-site. Once complete, the RNG facility will replace the current practice of open burning agricultural waste with an enclosed system that will produce a non-fossil form of natural gas, capture, and store CO2, and serve as a substitute to diesel.

“This project will give California farmers a higher-value outlet for agricultural waste and will, at the same time, produce super-clean natural gas fuel for displacement of diesel fuel,” said SJR president, T.J. Paskach.

“We’re excited to be building this plant in McFarland and appreciate the collaborative spirit the city leaders have shown us. The environmental benefits to the local residents and the state of California are real and huge.”

Agricultural GHG emissions, which are difficult to mitigate, comprised 10% of overall US emissions in 2019.

“The valley experiences some of the worst air quality in the US,” said Kaushik Amin, partner at Silverpeak, “and the project provides a proven solution that is supported by the local community.”