Renewable Dairy Fuels (RDF), a business unit of Amp Americas, announced Oct. 16 that its second biogas facility producing renewable natural gas (RNG) from dairy waste is now operational and has begun delivering RNG into the NIPSCO natural gas pipeline system to be used as transportation fuel.
The facility is located in Jasper County, Ind., and is now the largest dairy project of its kind in the country, RDF said.
The Jasper County site will convert 945 tons of manure per day generated from 16,000 head of milking cows from the Bos, Herrema and Windy Ridge dairy farms into 100% renewable transportation fuel. The new facility is 50% larger than RDF’s first operation at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana, which has been on line since 2011 and was the first dairy biogas-to-transportation fuel project in the country, the announcement said.
RDF explained that cow manure from four farms is collected from the barns and delivered to tanks, where it is heated to facilitate a process called anaerobic digestion. Much like digestive bacteria and enzymes in a cow’s stomach, microbes inside the tanks work to break down the waste and release methane, which is captured, purified and compressed to become RNG that is then injected into the pipeline.
Amp Americas also announced that former Camco Clean Energy executive Andy Dvoracek has joined Amp Americas as vice president of business development. Dvoracek will be responsible for new growth and expanding the company’s dairy RNG project portfolio.
Prior to joining Amp Americas, Dvoracek was vice president of development at Camco Clean Energy, a global player in sustainable energy project development, where he managed origination and investment in carbon asset management projects and biogas development. In his role with Camco, he worked closely with Amp Americas and Fair Oaks Farms (the site of Amp’s initial RNG project) for several years.
According to the announcement, Amp Americas continues to expand its national footprint and invest heavily in dairy RNG projects by partnering with dairy farmers across the country to bring more ultra-low "carbon intensity" gas to market. Amp Americas said it is already producing at an annual rate of more than 4 million gal. of RNG and is working on projects that will increase that rate in 2019 and beyond. In addition, the company’s network of high-performance, ultra-fast-fill compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations is now up to 20 and continues to grow. The company supports some of the largest CNG fleets in the country, including UPS, US Foods and Dairy Farmers of America.
“RNG reduces greenhouse gas emissions by up to 100% when compared to diesel. In addition to improving air quality and sustainability, converting dairy waste into transportation fuel improves farm profitability, creates well-paying rural jobs and saves fleets money,” Grant Zimmerman, Amp Americas chief executive officer, said. “There’s an abundance of dairy waste on farms all over the country that could be better leveraged to meet the demand for RNG.”
Amp Americas operates three business units: RDF, Amp Renew and Amp CNG. RDF produces 100% renewable natural gas from dairy waste. RDF's anaerobic digester at Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana received the first dairy waste-to-vehicle fuel pathway certified by the California Air Resources Board. Amp Renew sources renewable gas from RDF and third-party RNG developers to supply fuel to fleet customers through both owned and contracted station infrastructure. Amp CNG, a member of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Clean Fleets Partnership, builds, owns and operates a growing network of CNG fueling stations for long-haul trucking fleets.