FPU Renewables has unveiled plans to build, own and operate a dairy manure renewable natural gas (RNG) facility at Full Circle Dairy located in Madison County, Florida.
FPU is a full-service renewable waste-to-energy development company and a subsidiary of Florida Public Utilities, which is owned by Delaware-based Chesapeake Utilities.
The project represents a capital investment of $22 million and aims to produce 100,000 average dekatherms of RNG annually, by capturing and cleaning methane from manure generated by cows. The first injection of RNG is anticipated to occur in 2024.
The project is expected to capture and redirect around 1,116 metric tons (mt) of methane per year, which is equivalent to 27,900 mt of carbon dioxide. Using the EPA greenhouse gas (GHG) equivalencies calculator, these figures represent a minimum reduction in GHG emissions that is equivalent to the emissions from 6,012 gasoline-powered passenger vehicles driven for one year. The CO2 emissions reduction is equivalent to the annual energy consumption of 3,514 homes.
Chesapeake says it is assessing further investment opportunities to commercialize the RNG generated at the facility. Furthermore, several offtake options for the RNG are currently being evaluated, it adds.
“We continue to look for ways to displace more carbon-intensive fuels, and we’re working hard to develop waste-to-energy production facilities, and associated infrastructure, that improve agricultural conditions in Florida and other service areas,” said Jeff Householder, President and CEO of Chesapeake Utilities. “Collaborations such as the one with Full Circle Dairy are continuing to move both the energy and agricultural industries toward a more sustainable future.”
Full Circle Dairy has been operating and milking cows since 2006. Presently, it repurposes the manure created at the farm by using it as fertilizer for the fields that grow feed for the herd. The introduction of a digester onsite will help the dairy to expand its commitment to sustainability by further reducing methane and greenhouse gas emissions, creating an eco-friendlier manure management system for the farm, and generating valuable pipeline-quality RNG.
Chesapeake says the construction of this dairy to RNG facility signifies its ongoing efforts to expedite investments in RNG ventures. The company’s investments in this area began with the Noble Road RNG pipeline project in Ohio, followed by the acquisition of Planet Found Energy Development, a poultry waste to biogas pilot facility in Maryland. Most recently, Chesapeake announced plans for an RNG injection site in Nassau County, Florida.