PHOENIX – Southwest Gas is working to bring a clean, renewable source of energy to market from unconventional origins you might not think of when warming homes, washing or drying clothes, or cooking a great meal. Meet renewable natural gas (RNG).
RNG is a renewable source of energy like wind and solar power that is harvested from landfills, dairy farms and waste water treatment facilities. Methane is naturally emitted when organic products break down at these facilities; this methane either rises to the atmosphere or is flared off at the site. RNG is produced when this methane is captured and processed to meet pipeline quality standards. As such, RNG is considered to be carbon-neutral.* RNG can be delivered through existing natural gas pipelines for use in businesses and homes. Since RNG is compatible with existing natural gas appliances, industrial equipment and compressed natural gas vehicles, end-users do not need to change their natural gas equipment to reap the environmental benefits of RNG. The innovative use of this energy can help vehicle fleet operators, residents, businesses, cities, towns or communities meet their emission-reduction goals. In particular, a vehicle fleet powered by compressed renewable natural gas can be cleaner than a vehicle powered by electricity produced by traditional power generation fuels.
As part of our commitment to protecting the environment, Southwest Gas is actively working with RNG developers to interconnect various RNG projects across our service areas with Southwest Gas’ facilities. There are currently four projects in Arizona and one in California that are approved and will take RNG to market shortly. Together, these five projects will produce over 10 million therms of RNG for injection into Southwest Gas’ system:
- Tres Rios Wastewater Project in Tucson, Ariz. The project is expected to be operational in July 2021.
- SoCal Biomethane at the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority facility in Victorville, Calif., is expected to begin service by August 2021.
- Sunoma Renewable Biofuel Project in Gila Bend, Ariz. Partnered with Paloma Dairy, the project is expected to begin production October 2021.
- Butterfield RNG 1, LLC, at the Butterfield Dairy in Buckeye, Ariz., The project is anticipated to be operational by December 2021.
- Maricopa RNG 1, LLC, at the Milky Way Dairy in Maricopa, Ariz., is anticipated to be completed by December 2022.
Apart from the projects above, Southwest Gas continues to identify opportunities to introduce more RNG to consumers, with several more projects being evaluated in Arizona, California and Nevada.
“We’re proud of our efforts to help bring RNG to market by connecting sources of RNG with end-users by way of the Company’s natural gas distribution system,” said John Hester, president and CEO of Southwest Gas. “We have sought legislation, worked with regulators and created partnerships to pave the way. These five projects are just the beginning of our commitment to make ever-increasing amounts of RNG available. Customers have told us that they prefer clean, affordable and reliable natural gas, and we are excited about the prospects of RNG to further reduce emissions and help protect our environment.”
In addition to RNG, Southwest Gas is also looking into incorporating other low- or zero-carbon emission energy solutions, such as hydrogen, into our portfolio.