Is a biogas-to-RNG project right for your facility & community?
Northern Colorado Clean Cities recently interviewed CGRS and City of Longmont, Colorado, representatives about the ins and outs of constructing a system that converts biogas at a wastewater treatment plant to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The goal: provide useful information about the decision-making and construction processes so other jurisdictions can determine if a similar project is right for their facilities and their communities. The following article is based on the content of those interviews.
“It’s got to meet certain specifications,” he said. “It’s a lot more expensive to do it that way, but the ROI (return on investment) can be a much shorter duration if you’re capturing all of the methane that’s produced versus if you don’t have somewhere to put it.”
Longmont officials’ preplanning helped determine that Waste Services trucks could use all of that gas. They also set a long-term goal to fuel more vehicles, he added.
The timeframe for seeing the financial benefits is a year or longer, Kahler said. While Longmont no longer has to buy diesel fuel for 11 trucks, the total benefits have yet to reach full capacity. RNG systems are complex and it takes a while to work things out.
And while the market for these systems has slowed, they are catching on, thanks to municipalities like Longmont, Grand Junction, Boulder, and others that can show the impact they are having on their communities and their sustainability goals, he said.
Kahler said he’d like to see more organizations take advantage of the RNG opportunities available at WWTPs, landfills and dairies.