CleanBay to sell BP renewable natural gas derived from litter
ANNAPOLIS, Md. — BP and CleanBay Renewables announced a 15-year agreement where BP will purchase renewable natural gas processed from poultry litter — a mixture of manure, feathers and bedding — and sell it as fuel for the U.S. transportation sector.
CleanBay is an environmental technology company focused on the production of sustainable RNG and engineered organic fertilizers. It manages this process by mixing poultry litter with water in a closed system known as an anaerobic digester.
One of the end products is biogas, which includes methane.
The biogas can be processed into RNG and used to fuel vehicles.
CleanBay said their approach builds on the sustainability efforts of the agriculture community by re-purposing poultry litter into RNG and a controlled-release fertilizer designed for optimized nutrient management.
This agreement with bp directly supports the financing for its first active bio-conversion facility, planned in Westover, Md.
In 2016, CleanBay received a $1.4 million grant through the Maryland Department of Agriculture’s Animal Waste Technlogy Fund supplementing $15 million in investments already secured by CleanBay Renewables. CleanBay has received approval to build the manure-to-energy plant from PJM, the utility grid operator serving the area, and has the support of the Somerset County Economic Development Commission.
The project plans to process 80 tons per day of poultry litter as feedstock, supplied by a Somerset County manure broker. The system has the capacity to produce 48 megawatt hours of electricity per day.
The plant will use a thermophilic anaerobic digester to convert organic matter into biogas (a mix of methane and carbon dioxide) and simpler chemical compounds in an oxygen-free environment.
In a news release, CleanBay said it is actively exploring sites for future facilities in the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and California.
Its goal is to establish a portfolio of RNG and power facilities that reduce local emissions and provide farmers with an alternative use for their poultry litter and a fertilizer to increase their food production.
Each of the 30 proposed CleanBay facilities is expected to generate enough sustainable energy to power 9,200 cars per year by recycling more than 150,000 tons of poultry litter annually.
Through this agreement, BP’s trading and shipping team will sell the fuel to its customers, initially in California.
According to the company, there is strong demand for RNG fuel in the state due to incentives from its Low Carbon Fuel Standard.
RNG-fueled vehicles are estimated to result in up to 95 percent lower greenhouse gas emissions than those fueled by gasoline or diesel on a lifecycle basis, according to a U.S. Department of Energy study.
Michael Thomas, vice president biogas origination at BP, said, “Working with innovative companies like CleanBay will be key for BP to reach our net zero ambition. As one of the largest suppliers of RNG to the U.S. transportation sector, this agreement will help us continue delivering competitive, reliable energy solutions.”
Thomas Spangler, executive chairman, CleanBay Renewables, said, “By collaborating with BP, we continue taking steps to positively impact our environment.
Not only will our process improve the air, soil and water quality around our agricultural facilities, but our RNG is a sustainable, environmentally-friendly way to help reduce GHG emissions.”
CleanBay said it has incorporated measures to further reduce its carbon footprint, including co-located solar power fields to meet the onsite power needs and the production of alternative products like green hydrogen.
Donal Buckley, CEO of CleanBay Renewables, said, “RNG is a necessary energy transition approach in the near-term, but green hydrogen and the use of RNG to power electric vehicle charging stations will be the backbone of a fast transition to a net zero future.”