GFL Environmental Inc. (GFL), the fourth largest diversified environmental services company in North America, and Opal Fuels Inc. (Opal Fuels), a vertically integrated producer and distributor of renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable energy, announced that they have completed construction of their new RNG production facility, Emerald RNG. The parties held a ribbon cutting ceremony to mark the occasion at GFL’s Arbor Hills landfill in Michigan, where the facility is located.
“The completed construction of our largest landfill-gas-to-RNG projects is an important step for GFL toward achieving our ambition for a low-carbon future,” said Patrick Dovigi, GFL’s founder and CEO. “This RNG project advances our own sustainability goals by reducing GHG emissions from both our landfills and our fleet, as well as the goals of our customers, by avoiding emissions through the beneficial reuse of RNG to displace virgin fuel applications.”
“This successful joint venture with GFL reflects our continued focus on growth — expanding RNG production to ultimately bring more renewable fuel supply online, while simultaneously providing GFL’s heavy-duty transportation fleets with a fuel source that’s cleaner than fossil fuels at no additional cost,” said Adam Comora, co-CEO of Opal Fuels. “RNG is a here and now solution to address the impacts of climate change and is a sought-after source of renewable energy.”
This is the first of two previously announced RNG projects to be developed via a joint venture between the companies at landfills owned by affiliates of GFL. The second project, located in North Carolina, is expected to commence commercial operations next year. GFL and Opal Fuels are also pursuing renewable energy projects at seven other landfill sites in various stages of development.
The Emerald RNG facility will capture naturally occurring biogas from the decomposition of organic material at the landfill and refine it into RNG. The facility has a nameplate capacity of 10,000 SCFM (283 m3/d) of landfill gas and is expected to produce more than 2.5 million MMBtu, or almost 20 million gasoline gallon equivalent, of RNG annually.
Landfill-gas-to-RNG facilities provide a proven solution to reduce emissions across the transportation network, resulting in lower GHG emissions at the landfill and displacing diesel fuel with a low-carbon fuel alternative. The RNG produced by the plant will help avoid GHG emissions equivalent to achieving zero Scope 1 emissions from more than 1500 heavy-duty trucks each year and will be used, in part, to power a portion of GFL’s US compressed natural gas (CNG) fleet.