SJI to Construct Food Waste to Renewable Natural Gas Project in New Jersey

Dec. 26, 2023
The Linden Renewable Energy Project will convert up to 1,475 tons of organic waste to produce approximately 3,783 MMBTu of pipeline-quality RNG daily

To continue advancing New Jersey's clean energy and decarbonization goals, SJI, Captona, and RNG Energy Solutions announced they have partnered to construct what the companies are calling one of the largest food waste-to-renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in the United States. 

The Linden Renewable Energy (LRE) Project – based in Linden, New Jersey – will convert up to 1,475 tons of organic waste to produce approximately 3,783 MMBTu of pipeline-quality RNG daily – the energy equivalent value of 30,200 gallons of gasoline per day. 

"The Linden Renewable Energy facility... [is] a triple win for us – it repurposes food waste, generates renewable energy that our customers can benefit from, and bolsters our commitment to environmental stewardship," said SJI President and CEO Mike Renna. "Through this flagship project, we're actively contributing to a more sustainable, energy-efficient future for both our state and the environment." 

The project will intake a range of feedstock, including food waste from industrial, commercial, and institutional entities, as well as grease waste from restaurants and other food service establishments. 

The LRE Project will also include the development and construction of multiple off-site food waste pre-processing and depackaging operations in New York City, New York State, and New Jersey. In addition, LRE will also align with multiple waste haulers in New York City and New Jersey to acquire source-separated waste as part of their compliance with New York City and New Jersey organic waste diversion requirements. 

“The LRE Project will provide a sustainable and competitive waste management service within a 40-mile metro region with over 18 million residents. The same region has implemented aggressive organic waste diversion regulations that need a sustainable anaerobic digestion project solution,” said James Potter, President of RNG Energy Solutions. 

“We are not aware of any project site within this proximity to NYC that affords the superior capacity to receive barges combined with close proximity to the I-95 transportation corridor. These optimized transportation logistics make the project the preferred low-carbon and low-cost provider of organic waste management services," added Potter. 

The project is SJI's first non-utility-led anaerobic digester project that will directly connect its utility customers with a New Jersey-based RNG producer. Anaerobic digestion is the natural process that breaks down waste in the absence of oxygen to produce natural gas and nutrient-rich materials, which can then be used as fertilizer. 

Elizabethtown Gas, one of SJI's primary utility subsidiaries, will blend the RNG from the Project into its existing natural gas distribution system. 

The LRE Project will begin construction in December 2023 and has a set target completion date of Q1 2026.