TPG Rise Climate invests in Monarch Bioenergy JV
A joint venture (JV) between Roeslein Alternative Energy (RAE) and a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods, Monarch Bioenergy leverages RAE’s state-of-the-art technology and Smithfield’s innovative sustainable farming practices to capture methane emissions and convert them into RNG to power homes, vehicles, and businesses.
Accelerating the renewable energy transition, greening the industrial sector, and scaling greenhouse gas (GHG)-abating technologies are the core pillars in TPG Rise Climate’s multi-sector investing strategy. As an equal partner in the JV, TPG Rise Climate will work with RAE and Smithfield to advance agricultural innovation, enhance existing projects in Missouri, US, and develop new ones in select states. RAE’s president, Chris Roach, will serve as Monarch’s CEO in a newly created role.
“For years, Rudi Roeslein and his eponymous company, RAE, have been developing proven, market-based solutions to demands for both sustainable agriculture and renewable energy,” said Marc Mezvinsky, business unit partner in TPG Rise.
“Applying RAE’s anaerobic digester technology, as well as additional circular technologies and environmental protections, to Smithfield’s hog farms is a significant and meaningful step towards addressing methane emissions at their source.
“Advancing and scaling proven GHG-abating technologies like those used by Monarch is central to our mission at TPG Rise Climate and we look forward to working with RAE and Smithfield to advance and drive operational best practices for these emerging technologies.”
Monarch’s technology and proprietary process are key to creating closed-loop, zero-waste systems on large farms. Its anaerobic digester infrastructure captures methane emissions from manure and converts those emissions into pipeline-quality natural gas, which is distributed to RNG markets across the country. Additionally, the by-products of Monarch’s AD process are used for other farm-related circular uses, such as fertiliser, irrigation and soil regeneration.
The JV is also actively seeking partnerships to leverage emerging technological solutions to turn effluent waste from the digester process into organic fertiliser, clean water and compostable fibre. Monarch is also exploring becoming a Certified B Corporation in connection with its mission.
As part of Smithfield’s commitment to becoming carbon negative across its US company-owned operations by 2030, the company established Smithfield Renewables in 2017. Smithfield Renewables focuses on emissions reduction and efficiency efforts on farms, processing facilities, and across its transport and logistics network.
Kraig Westerbeek, vice president of Smithfield Renewables, commented: “We are excited to integrate TPG Rise Climate’s rigorous impact and operational capabilities into Monarch.
“TPG Rise Climate’s mission to scale emerging climate solutions that result in quantifiable greenhouse gas avoidance is consistent with our commitment to lead in agricultural innovation and sustainability.”