Minnesota Supreme Court's St. Paul Ruling

The Minnesota Supreme Court affirmed a lower court ruling on Thursday that will allow a Nov. 5 ballot referendum on St. Paul's residential waste collection system to proceed. The St. Paul City Council has a special meeting today to discuss officially placing it on the ballot.

The ruling also upheld a district court's temporary stay on suspending the collection system until election results are confirmed, hinting at more to come. "So as not to impair the orderly process of ballot preparation, this order is issued with an opinion to follow at a later date," wrote Chief Justice Lorie Gildea.

By Cole Rosengren, Waste Dive

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Vanguard Renewables Breaks Grounds on Goodrich Family Farm RNG Project

Soon cows will help heat a local school campus. Tuesday, Middlebury College and its partners broke ground on a new facility on the Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury. Our Christina Guessferd shows you how it will turn manure and food waste into renewable gas.

"This is a long day coming," said Chase Goodrich of the Goodrich Family Farm.

A project a decade in the making.

"What we have here is what's going to be the largest anaerobic digester probably east of the Mississippi, one of the largest in the United States," said John Hanselman, the CEO of Vanguard Renewables.

By Christina Guessferd, WCAX3

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Santek Making Major Progress with Gas-capture RNG Program at Landfill

Santek Waste Services, which manages the Bradley County Landfill, is in the process of building a renewable natural gas plant to turn gas created by the landfill into usable natural gas. 

Cheryl Dunson of Santek Waste Services shared updates on this project with the Bradley Sunrise Rotary Club recently. 

"It's currently ongoing, and part of it has been completed," Dunson said. 

By Christy Armstrong, Cleveland Daily Banner

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Align RNG Break Ground on Largest RNG Project in North Carolina

Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods, Inc. are pleased to announce that the companies are breaking ground on North Carolina’s largest renewable natural gas (RNG) project through their joint venture, Align Renewable Natural Gas (RNG)SM. Located in Duplin and Sampson counties, this project will generate enough energy to power more than 3,500 homes annually upon completion. Align RNG is a multi-state joint venture between Dominion Energy and Smithfield that will capture methane emissions from hog farms and convert them into RNG to power homes and businesses.

“Breaking ground on this project with Dominion Energy is an exciting first step in bringing Align RNG to life,” said Kraig Westerbeek, senior director of Smithfield Renewables and hog production environmental affairs for Smithfield Foods. “This project implements proven ‘manure-to-energy’ technology across a number of farms to produce reliable renewable energy for our community and contributes to our company’s ambitious goal to reduce our greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions 25% by 2025.”

By West

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Middlebury College to Use RNG to Meet Renewable Energy Goals

With declining enrollments coupled with ever increasing overhead, surviving as a small college these days is more of a challenge. 

This year alone, three small, private Vermont colleges have closed their doors: Southern Vermont College, Green Mountain College and the College of St Joseph, and Marlboro College has merged with the University of Bridgewater in Connecticut.

In Vermont, one of the country’s elite small colleges continues to not only weather the financial challenges but also thrive.

By Bruce Edwards, Vermont Business Magazine

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U.S. Investors Interested in Waste-to-energy Market

U.S. investors are beginning to smell an opportunity in the waste-to-energy market, where livestock dung and food garbage is traded. Interest is being fueled by new state laws and by demand from companies such as UPS Inc.

After a lull in investor interest stretching back a decade, attention to “anaerobic digestion” waste-to-energy is surging in the United States, developers in the sector have said.

Renewable fuel options are drawing increasing investor demand amid concerns about climate change and environmental, social and governance issues, especially in Europe.

By Patrick Temple-West, Los Angeles Times

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University of South Florida's RNG NEWgenerator Could Help Communities

Flowers are blooming in an unconventional spot. It's a vertical hydroponic wall attached to a small generator.

"Which is basically making use of the nutrients and water recovered from the waste water that our system is treating," explained University of South Florida researcher Jorge Calabria. 

The mini sewage system is called the NEWgenerator. It was developed by USF engineering professor Dr. Daniel Yeh and his research team.

By Fox13

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California Project Converting Dairy Waste into RNG

Cow manure is getting a new use in California.

Southern California Gas and Calgren Dairy Fuels have teamed up on a project to create a dairy renewable natural gas facility and to produce a fuel for alternate vehicles, Kallanish Energy reports.

The project is located in the Central Valley in the community of Pixley and is just beginning operations.

The facility is the first of its kind in California and is expected to be the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S. when completed later this year.

By Kallanish Energy

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SoCalGas & Electrochaea Announce Commissioning of New Biomethanation Reactor System Pilot Project

 Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and Electrochaea today announced the commissioning of the nation's first scalable biomethanation reactor system at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) Energy System Integration Facility in Golden, Colo.  The technology uses renewable electricity to convert hydrogen into pipeline quality methane for use in homes, businesses and in transportation.  Over the next 24 months, the project will assess the commercial viability of this power-to-gas approach to energy storage and decarbonization and provide insights into potential mega-watt scale system designs.  The announcement was made in conjunction with NREL's third annual Partner Forum.

Biomethane, or renewable natural gas, is created through this bioreactor system in a two-step process.  First, renewable electricity, generated by the sun, passes through an electrolyzer where water molecules are split into hydrogen and oxygen, storing the renewable electricity as hydrogen gas.  The newly-created "green" hydrogen is combined with carbon dioxide and piped into the reactor where archaea microorganisms produce renewable natural gas by consuming hydrogen and carbon dioxide and emitting methane.  The system is capable of recycling carbon dioxide from a myriad of sources, such as ethanol plants and anaerobic digesters, preventing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing the consumption of fossil methane. The catalyst was originally developed at the University of Chicago and the basic methanation system was designed by Electrochaea and demonstrated in Europe.

By PR Newswire

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Elected Official Highlights Benefits of Keeping RNG in California

Earlier this month, Calgren Dairy Fuels in neighboring Tulare County celebrated the completion of its renewable natural gas facility in Pixley, an operation that’s gathering biogas from multiple dairy farms and turning it into pipeline quality renewable methane. I couldn’t be more pleased that the San Joaquin Valley is adding renewable natural gas to the wind and solar renewable energy we already generate. Renewable natural gas makes dairy farming more sustainable and reduces pollution from California’s agricultural sector.

And yet, just as we begin to make real progress in creating renewable gas from our dairies, the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has decided that all homes and businesses in California must switch to electricity only, eliminating natural gas—and even renewable natural gas—as an energy source. They want no more gas home heating, no gas cooking or clothes dryers or gas water heaters. All those appliances will need to be changed out for electric appliances.

By David Couch, Bakersfield

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