GHG Emissions, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables - January 8, 2021
Tyson Foods partners to convert methane into renewable natural gas
Tyson Foods announced on Jan. 7 that it partnered with natural gas service provider NW Natural to convert methane from its facilities into renewable natural gas (RNG) to heat homes and businesses in Oregon and Southwest Washington.
RNG is produced from organic materials like agricultural and forestry by-products, food waste, wastewater or landfills, and is a unique and valuable form of renewable energy. It combines similar emission reduction benefits of traditional, intermittent renewables such as wind and solar with the reliability and seasonal storage capabilities of natural gas–all while capturing, cleaning and using organic material that would otherwise emit carbon into the atmosphere.
Under this partnership, NW Natural has options to invest up to an estimated $38 million in four separate RNG development projects that will access biogas derived from water treatment at Tyson Foods’ processing plants. In December, NW Natural exercised its option for the first development project in Nebraska, initiating investment in an estimated $8 million project. Construction on this first project is expected to begin in early 2021, with completion and commissioning expected in late 2021.
Once fully operational, these four projects are expected to generate more than 1.2 million MMBtu of renewable natural gas each year–enough RNG to provide heat for about 18,000 homes NW Natural serves in Oregon.
“Our vision is to champion innovative policies and new technologies to provide a substantial climate benefit for our customers,” David H. Anderson, NW Natural president and CEO, said in a statement. “We have a long history of being leaders on environmental stewardship and climate change. This partnership is just one step forward in what we intend to be many to follow, as we work to source more and more of our supply from renewables over time.”
This is the company’s first investment under the new state RNG law, Oregon Senate Bill 98, which supports renewable energy procurement and investment by natural gas utilities.