The renewable natural gas industry capped off a busy year with plans to push forward new regulatory incentives. The federal measures, including a transportation fuel tax credit, would add additional tailwinds to RNG production at a time when D3 RIN prices have been on a steady climb for six months.
The U.S. Treasury also released guidance in December on how it planned to implement the Clean Hydrogen Production Credit, a program created by the Inflation Reduction Act and known as Section 45V in the tax code. Some landfill operators hope to see the program made available for hydrogen produced from biogas or RNG, though it’s unclear how likely that is with the current rule language. Public comment for Section 45V is open until Feb. 26.
Developers continued to move forward in the RNG space last month. Read on for more info about some of the major projects that advanced before the end of 2023.
Waste and biogas industries call for transportation fuel tax credit
On December 12, the National Waste & Recycling Association sent a letter to congressional leaders urging them to advance H.R. 2448, the Renewable Natural Gas Incentive Act. The bill would create a dollar-per-gallon tax credit for RNG similar to an existing credit for renewable diesel. It also builds upon an existing 50-cent-per-gallon alternative fuel tax credit for natural gas that’s currently available through the end of the year.
The letter was signed by dozens of waste and biogas industry representatives, including the American Biogas Council, RNG Coalition, Waga Energy, Ameresco, WM, Waste Pro and other California waste companies. The legislation was first introduced by Rep. Linda T. Sánchez, D-Calif., and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn.
Ares Management acquired Burnham RNG
Infrastructure investment firm Ares Management acquired Burnham RNG, the entities announced Dec. 4. Virginia-based Burnham was founded in 2021. It announced a partnership with the city of Pasco, Washington, last year to build an industrial wastewater treatment plant that would produce RNG and treated water for irrigation. The project has a 30-year wastewater treatment agreement with Pasco and a 20-year RNG offtake agreement with Cascade Energy. The company also says it has a pipeline of several waste-to-biogas projects across the U.S.
Ares Management is acquiring the company from Dallas-based private equity firm Edge Natural Resources. Ares has been growing its waste-to-value portfolio recently — in July, it announced a strategic investment in Dynamic Renewables, a company with a portfolio of six RNG assets under construction.
Waga Energy launches Wagabox at Quebec landfill
French RNG company Waga Energy installed its Wagabox landfill-gas-to-RNG technology at the closed Chicoutimi landfill in Quebec. The landfill, owned by a division of GFL Environmental, operated from 1998 to 2017. GFL and Waga Energy reached a 10-year offtake and revenue-sharing agreement for the landfill gas, which will be refined and injected into the grid through an agreement with Énergir.
This is the second Wagabox facility installed in Canada, with two more on the way in the country. The company has 19 landfill gas-to-RNG facilities operational across France, Spain and Canada today. Its pipeline also includes projects in the U.S. with companies like Casella Waste Systems.
SJI, Captona and RNG Energy Solutions announce construction of food waste-to-RNG facility
Joint venture partners South Jersey Industries and Captona announced the construction of the Linden Renewable Energy Project in New Jersey with project partner RNG Energy Solutions, an anaerobic digestion developer, on December 20. The digester project is expected to convert up to 1,475 tons of waste per day, and is billed as one of the largest food waste-to-RNG facilities in the U.S.
The partnership also said it would construct “multiple off-site food waste pre-processing and depackaging operations” in New York and New Jersey, according to a release. Energy infrastructure company SJI is backing the project, and its subsidiary, Elizabethtown Gas, has an agreement to blend the gas into its grid. Energy transition investor Captona also provided financial support to the project.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated with further details about the joint venture behind the Linden Renewable Energy Project.