First renewable natural gas facility in California commissioned in Victorville

·3 min read
Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority General Manager Darron Poulsen, right, gives Assemblyman Thurston “Smitty” Smith a tour of Anaergia's gas conditioning facility that will turn methane or biogas into renewable natural gas at the VVWRA site in Victorville.
Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority General Manager Darron Poulsen, right, gives Assemblyman Thurston “Smitty” Smith a tour of Anaergia's gas conditioning facility that will turn methane or biogas into renewable natural gas at the VVWRA site in Victorville.

Representatives from the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority commissioned operations on a renewable natural gas facility in Victorville.

During the ceremony, VVWRA officials were also joined in the commissioning by representatives of Southwest Gas and SoCal Biomethane, which is a subsidiary of Anaergia Inc.

“I’m thankful to serve on the VVWRA Board during its remarkable collaboration with Anaergia and Southwest Gas,” said Victorville Mayor Debra Jones.

All three organizations are to be applauded for their ingenuity in creating the natural gas project, said Jones, who added the commitment to implement green energy initiatives would benefit the High Desert region for years to come.

Other attendees at the ceremony on Jan. 21 included Assemblyman Thurston "Smitty" Smith; members of the State of California Air Resources Board; and council members from Apple Valley, Barstow and Hesperia.

The new project will include methane coming from the local waste treatment process, which will be collected, cleaned and pressurized to natural gas standards before being injected into an SWG pipeline that runs through the VVWRA plant located east of the Southern California Logistics Airport.

VVWRA is California's first wastewater treatment plant to inject renewable natural gas made from both wastewater solids and food waste into a utility pipeline, VVWRA officials said.

The Anaergia's gas conditioning facility will turn methane or biogas into renewable natural gas at the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority site in Victorville.
The Anaergia's gas conditioning facility will turn methane or biogas into renewable natural gas at the Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority site in Victorville.

The RNG is expected to be injected into the Southwest Gas system in the coming weeks. Once in production, the facility could divert more than 6,000 metric tons of methane, equivalent to 1.5 million CO2 tons, per year.

VVWRA will be the first wastewater treatment plant in the state to inject renewable natural gas made from both wastewater solids and food waste into a utility pipeline.

The new facility will assist municipalities in complying with California’s Senate Bill 1383 regulations, which require every municipality to divert food and businesses and other organic waste from landfills to reduce the amount of organic waste landfilled by 75% by 2025.

“Under Senate Bill 1383, every California municipality must now find a way to reduce food waste and other organic waste going to landfills. Anaergia offers a unique set of technologies that convert existing infrastructure at wastewater treatment plants into highly efficient systems capable of treating both residual wastewater solids as well as food waste,” said Anaergia Chairman/CEO Andrew Benedek. “Our partnership with VVWRA is an example for the entire state on how to solve the current requirements efficiently.”

“This simple idea has many benefits,” said VVWRA General Manager Darron Poulsen. “Now there’s less food waste going to landfill, which means reduced landfill methane emissions. It also means we can produce more biogas, so we can send RNG to the gas grid, replacing the fossil fuel with a carbon-negative fuel.”

According to Southwest Gas President and CEO John Hester, the facility will add more than 320,000 MMBTU of RNG to the pipeline each year, enough to offset the emissions of more than 2,000 homes.

“There’s great demand for this carbon-negative fuel, especially for heavy-duty trucks, and that results in far cleaner air for San Bernardino County’s transportation corridors,” said Hester.

“The renewable natural gas being created here will generate a clean carbon-negative transportation fuel significantly contributing to California’s decarbonization strategy while supporting California clean-tech jobs,” said Richard Corey, Executive Director of the California Air Resources Board, the agency tasked with reducing air pollution in the state.

Daily Press reporter Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227 or RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com. Follow him on Instagram @RenegadeReporter and Twitter @DP_ReneDeLaCruz.

This article originally appeared on Victorville Daily Press: Renewable natural gas facility commissioned in Victorville

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