Renewable natural gas when used as a transportation fuel has lower GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis than conventional diesel. - Photo: Clean Energy

Renewable natural gas when used as a transportation fuel has lower GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis than conventional diesel.

Photo: Clean Energy

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. and BP announced that their renewable natural gas joint venture will build on previously announced plans to finance and develop new projects at dairy farms, starting in the Midwest.  

“The demand for RNG is rapidly growing, highlighted by our recent announcement to fuel a new fleet of Amazon heavy-duty trucks deploying across the country,” said Clay Corbus, senior vice president and co-head of renewable fuels at Clean Energy. “Our joint venture with BP to develop new supplies is critical to keeping up with this demand.” 

In February, Reuters reported that Amazon had ordered hundreds of trucks that run on compressed natural gas as it tests ways to shift its U.S. fleet away from heavier-polluting trucks. “Amazon is excited about introducing new sustainable solutions for freight transportation and is working on testing a number of new vehicle types including electric, CNG and others,” the company said in a statement.

In April, Clean Energy signed an agreement with Amazon to provide low- and negative-carbon renewable natural gas, to be provided at 27 existing Clean Energy fueling stations and another 19 non-exclusive new or upgraded Clean Energy-owned stations that Clean Energy expected to be constructed by the end of the year.

This latest announcement involves RNG from dairy farms in South Dakota and Iowa. These farms, with more than 30,000 cows, have the estimated potential to convert the methane produced from waste into more than 7 million gallons of RNG annually, according to the announcement.

Agriculture accounts for nearly 10% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Capturing methane from farm waste can lower these emissions. RNG is used as a transportation fuel and has lower GHG emissions on lifecycle basis when compared to conventional gasoline and diesel. The California Air Resources Board has given similar projects a carbon intensity (CI) score of weighted average of -320 compared to CI scores of 101 for conventional diesel fuel and 15 for electric batteries. 

With over 550 dispensing locations, Clean Energy said, it has the largest network of RNG stations in the U.S. BP transports RNG to California markets and monetizes the environmental credits associated with dispensing the RNG. 

“These collaborations are critical steps toward our ambition of helping the world reach net zero by 2050 or sooner,” said Sean Reavis, BP biogas origination. “Our biogas strategy is focused on growth and developing an integrated business model that allows us to deliver the unique energy products the market is demanding.”

The first RNG production facility is expected to be operational in 2022. 

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