Fair Oaks Dairy RNG
An anaerobic digester built in 2009 — using bacteria in an oxygen-free environment to convert organic waste to renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) — processes 500,000 gals/day of liquid manure from 11,500 dairy cows. In 2012, production exceeded 1.5 million diesel gallon equivalents of R-CNG. The biogas is upgraded for use as vehicle fuel at an on-site plant near the digester and subsequently sent via pipeline to two refueling stations, built by Clean Energy Fuels Corp. The R-CNG will fuel 42 long-haul milk trucks, operated by Ruan Transportation Services – one of the nation’s largest fleet operators, and powered by Cummins Westport 8.9- and 11.9-liter natural gas engines to deliver 53 loads (over 300,000 gallons) of milk per day. The digester technology is from DVO, Inc. (formerly GHD), a Chilton, WI based company, and Greenlane Biogas, an international leader in the field, provided a Totara+ biogas upgrading system. Anaergia Services (formerly UTS) has a “design-build-operate” contract for the entire system, including technology selection, installation and management, and the construction and maintenance of the fuel delivery and storage system (except for the fueling station). Use of R-CNG will result in close to $2.5 million in annual fuel savings and CO2 emissions reductions of more than 16,500 tons.
The private financial partners are Fair Oaks Dairy and AMP Americas. Together they covered the majority of the total $19 million investment. Public funds provided under the Obama Administration’s American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009, through Clean Cities of Greater Indiana, totaled $750,000 for the CNG stations. A grant from Indiana’s State Energy Program (SEP) of $2 million covered the incremental cost of the CNG trucks equipped with extra gas tanks for extended range use.