Oklahoma farms to benefit from plan to harness renewable natural gas

Vanguard Digester

A Vanguard Renewables anaerobic digester recycles greenhouse gas-producing organic waste into renewable energy on a Massachusetts farm. (Courtesy photo/Vanguard Renewables)

TULSA – Tulsa-based One Gas has entered into a partnership to develop and expand on potentials for tapping farm-based renewable natural gas as an energy option.

The partnership with Vanguard Renewables will focus on projects in Oklahoma, Kansas and Texas, the companies said in a release. It will be Vanguard Renewables’ first mid-continent alliance with a local natural gas distribution company.

One Gas Inc., one of the largest natural gas utilities in the United States, provides energy for more than 2.2 million customers in Oklahoma, Kansas, Oklahoma and Texas. Its divisions include Oklahoma Natural Gas, Kansas Gas Service and Texas Gas Service.

Vanguard Renewables identifies as a U.S. leader in converting organics to renewable energy. The company recycles waste into renewable energy by utilizing farm-based “anaerobic digesters” – a process developed to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions while also providing diversified income streams for host farms.

Vanguard also operates facilities to de-package and pre-process organic waste, including expired goods and off-spec batches, before sending product to anaerobic digesters to be recycled. With partners Unilever, Starbucks and Dairy Farmers of America, the company recently founded the Farm Powered Strategic Alliance to advance a “circular solution” to waste reduction.

One Gas Vice President for Commercial Activities Jason Ketchum said the new joint initiative illustrates the company’s commitment innovating and expanding its clean energy fuel mix through RNG. It not only will deliver sustainable, renewable energy for One Gas customers, but it also will reduce emissions and help the company to achieve environmental and social and governance goals.

“RNG is a vital part of a sustainable energy future as it provides a reliable path to reduce emissions,” Ketchum said. “We are excited to partner with Vanguard Renewables to provide more sustainable and carbon-neutral energy solutions for our communities and customers.”

Specifically, RNG projects are designed to capture methane from organic materials like food waste and animal manure, redirecting it away from the environment and removing harmful contaminants from the atmosphere.

“Our Farm Powered program provides a circular solution diverting greenhouse gas-producing food waste from landfills and incineration and recycling it into renewable energy and low carbon fertilizer using farm-based anaerobic digestion,” said John Hanselman, co-founder and chief executive officer for Vanguard Renewables. “The One Gas alliance will help us further expand our national network of anaerobic digesters, which will benefit the environment, farm owners, customers and the food industry.”

Ketchum said One Gas is actively participating in research, development and deployment of new emissions mitigation, delivery and end-use technologies.

According to an American Gas Foundation study, prepared by ICF International, renewable natural gas could lead to a 95% reduction in natural gas emissions from the residential sector and dramatically lower emissions from the agricultural sector by 2040.

“Our relationship with One Gas can lead to increased RNG availability across Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas and beyond as we hope this is the first of many similar relationships with natural gas distribution companies across the UnitedStates,” Hanselman said.

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