Vanguard Renewables and Partners Tap into Dairy Biogas for RNG

Arlene Karidis | Jan 05, 2021

As the renewable natural gas (RNG) market evolves, there’s been an uptick in two project types: one is RNG produced from dairy farm manure; another is RNG from manure that’s co-digested with food waste. RNG project developer Vanguard Renewables is investing in both market options, with six anaerobic digester (AD) projects under construction at farms in Colorado, Georgia, and Nevada, to make either electricity, heat, or transportation fuel. And it’s growing its network to pump up its feedstock supply while helping farmers cut greenhouse gas emissions.

The co-digested material is converted to RNG for electricity and heat. The higher-dollar, manure-only projects make output that goes to California for transportation fuel.

Vanguard has buy-in from Richmond, VA-based utility, Dominion Energy, who will sell this renewable product around the country. Additionally, 72 farms in 11 U.S. states have come on board who see these ventures as a way to not only cut emissions, but better manage massive tons of cow manure while increasing their income, says John Hanselman, chairman and CEO of Vanguard Renewables.

Vanguard is reaching the agriculture sector through an alliance with Dairy Farmers of America (DFA), which is the largest dairy co-op in the U.S. with 8,000 family farms as members.

“Farms all over the U.S. are looking to convert manure into RNG. In the next 36 months we will have food waste co-digestion systems in each of the top 25 metro areas of the U.S.,” Hanselman says.

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