Dominion Energy will own the projects, while Vanguard Renewables’ subsidiary will design, develop and operate the projects

Dominion Energy

Image: A Vanguard Renewables Farm Powered anaerobic digester at a farm in Deerfield, Massachusetts. Photo: Courtesy of Business Wire.

Dominion Energy has partnered with Vanguard Renewables to invest $200m to convert methane from dairy farms across the US into clean, renewable natural gas (RNG) for heating homes, powering businesses and fuelling vehicles.

Under the partnership, Dominion Energy will own the projects and sell the RNG and Vanguard Renewables’ subsidiary Clean Energy Investment USA and Vanguard Renewables Ag will design, develop and operate the projects.

Currently,  several such projects are under development across Georgia, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, and Utah.

Dominion Energy co-chief operating officer Diane Leopold said: “Through our strategic partnership with Vanguard Renewables and our strategic alliance with Dairy Farmers of America, we’re rapidly accelerating the development of these transformational projects and for the first time on a nationwide scale.

“The environmental, consumer and agricultural benefits of these projects are truly groundbreaking. We’re substantially reducing greenhouse gas emissions from U.S. dairy farms, delivering new sources of clean energy to U.S. consumers and providing a new source of long-term revenue for family farmers across the country.”

Methane can be produced from several natural sources such as dairy, hog and food waste. When released into the atmosphere, methane can emit nearly 25 times more greenhouse gases than carbon dioxide.

Dominion Energy estimates the partnership to offset over 450,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions

By capturing methane from dairy farms and converting it into RNG, Dominion Energy and Vanguard Renewables estimate that the projects can reduce more than 450,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent emissions annually, which is equivalent of taking away nearly 100,000 cars off the road.

Dominion Energy has joined hands with Smithfield Foods to form a large agricultural-based renewable natural gas partnership in the US.

The partnership is supported by $500m committed over a 10-year period to convert methane from hog farms into clean energy for local consumers.

Vanguard Renewables co-founder and chief investment officer and Vanguard Renewables Ag CEO Kevin Chase said: “Our multi-year alliance with Dairy Farmers of America demonstrates Vanguard Renewables’ commitment to working with the dairy community to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and enhance long-term operational and economic benefits for family farmers.

“For the first time, dairies across the country have partners with substantial financial resources and a deep understanding of the dairy industry working alongside them to take action now to solve these challenges.

“This strategic partnership with Dominion Energy and DFA will have a meaningful impact on greenhouse gas sequestration and dairy waste-to-energy production that will significantly benefit the farm community and the environment.”