a tinted green image of a dairy farm with tanks is the background, with two company logos against a while background in front.

Clean Energy and Mass Energy Works will build dairy digesters to produce RNG at nine farms

Photo: Clean Energy/Mass Energy Works/WT Illustration

Clean Energy Fuels and Maas Energy Works, the nation’s largest dairy digester developer, are working together to build nine renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities at dairy farms across seven states.

“This joint venture is clear proof that family farms paired with private businesses are an unstopped force in achieving decarbonization. If the markets for renewable fuels are clear and consistent then American’s biogas industry will deliver. We will soon be capturing fugitive manure emissions and turning them into carbon-negative truck fuel with our partners at Clean Energy,” said Daryl Maas, CEO of Maas Energy Works.

This new endeavor will include dairies located in:

  • Colorado
  • South Dakota
  • Georgia
  • Florida
  • Iowa
  • Nebraska
  • New Mexico

The new locations will collect the manure from a combined herd size of approximately 35,000 cows preventing the methane emissions from entering the atmosphere.

Sites Expected to Produce 4 Million Gallons of RNG

The nine projects, each subject to finalizing diligence before beginning construction, are expected to be completed in 2026 and will produce up to an estimated 4 million gallons annually of ultra-clean RNG, a negative carbon-intensity transportation fuel that will make its way into Clean Energy’s nationwide network of RNG stations.

“This JV brings together expertise from a seasoned RNG developer and producer and Clean Energy’s extensive RNG distribution network and growing RNG customer base. We are excited to continue our long working relationship with the team at Maas Energy Works to get these facilities online and producing pipeline quality RNG to help supply our transportation fleet customers with clean fuel to help them meet their sustainability goals,” said Clay Corbus, senior vice president at Clean Energy.

60 Dairy Digesters in the Past Decade

Industry pioneer Maas Energy Works has completed over 60 dairy digester projects over the past decade.

The team specializes in lagoon cover digesters which involve a large tarp over a manure lagoon to capture the methane emissions. Clean Energy said this process makes these facilities significantly less expensive to build and operate than tank digesters seen at other RNG plants.

Financed by Clean Energy, the nine new sites are forecasted to cost approximately $130 million in total.

Environmental Impact of RNG

Agriculture accounts for nearly 10% of U.S. GHG emissions and the transportation sector another 28%, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Capturing methane from farm waste lowers these emissions, said Clean Energy.

RNG, produced by farm waste methane and used as a transportation fuel, significantly lowers GHG emissions on a lifecycle basis compared to diesel. This allows RNG to be one of the only fuels to receive a negative carbon-intensity score based on the reduction of emissions at the source and at the vehicle.

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