About renewable natural gas
Where does renewable natural gas come from?
Renewable natural gas potential
How much renewable natural gas is possible?
Renewable natural gas future
What it means for the future
Replacing more and more of our natural gas supply with renewable natural gas in our existing pipeline infrastructure, combined with energy efficiency and wide adoption of our carbon offset program, will yield the fastest and most affordable results for our communities and the planet.
RNG supplies are growing with over 750 RNG facilities either online or under construction in North America, up from 50 less than six years ago.
- NW Natural has completed two interconnect projects to inject RNG into our distribution system, and a third is scheduled for completion in 2022
- We’re actively procuring RNG for our customers
Renewable natural gas benefits
Reduces carbon emissions
Renewable natural gas is a zero-carbon resource produced from local organic materials such as food, agricultural and forestry waste, wastewater or landfills.
- Replenishes naturally from decomposing organic materials.
- New innovations give us the ability to capture that methane and transform it into renewable natural gas — stopping the environmental damage before it starts and creating a valuable new source of energy.
- Works with the same equipment and appliances that deliver and use natural gas.
- Used in vehicles today.
Renewable Natural Gas supply
- Supply potential is vast and there’s no need for new appliances or pipelines.
- Today, 757 project are operational or under construction in North America (up from about 50 in 2017).
- The United States is playing catchup, but accelerating development spurred by state carbon policies and IRA.
Renewable Natural Gas feedstock
Renewable Natural Gas Projects
We believe NW Natural created the nation’s first dedicated RNG team at a natural gas utility in 2021. The team’s mission is to help us meet SB 98 targets and secure renewable supply at favorable prices for our customers. We have been vigorously pursuing contracts and establishing long-term relationships with RNG producers, developers and feedstock owners to procure RNG. In 2021, we had agreements with options to purchase or develop renewable natural gas totaling 3% of our current annual sales volume in Oregon.
Element MarketsSigned agreements under SB 98 to purchase RNG on behalf of Oregon customers through Element Markets, Archaea Energy and BP Products North America. NW Natural will purchase the environmental attributes, or Renewable Thermal Certificates (RTCs), generated by a new RNG facility at a wastewater treatment plant in New York City and a Wisconsin-based mixed waste anaerobic digester facility.
Tyson Foods processing plant
Tyson Foods processing plantOur first investment under SB 98, toward development of a biogas facility that is now operational and converting methane from a Tyson Foods processing plant into RNG. In Dec. 2021, NW Natural initiated investment in a second development project and construction of the biogas facility is underway.
Shell New Energies
Shell New EnergiesThe Shell New Energies Junction City biomethane facility in Oregon began sending renewable natural gas through NW Natural pipelines in Dec. 2021. The facility—Shell’s first RNG production site in the U.S.—uses locally sourced cow manure and agricultural residues to produce an expected 736,000 MMBtu a year of RNG. As the interconnecting gas company, NW Natural played an important role in the startup and took a big step toward advancing our own low-carbon goals. Having a new fuel production resource directly connected to the local distribution pipelines adds resilience to our system. The Shell facility—now a NW Natural industrial customer—supports the local economy and helps farmers manage agricultural wastes, reduce expenses and protect air and water quality.
Metropolitan Wastewater Management CommissionIn 2022, the Metropolitan Wastewater Management Commission's wastewater treatment plant in Eugene became the first wastewater facility in Oregon to produce renewable natural gas. New equipment installed at the plant produces RNG by “scrubbing” biogas from the anaerobic digesters that stabilize and treat solids, transforming 100% of what would otherwise be a waste product into a sustainable energy source. The pure methane/natural gas is injected into NW Natural's system. MWMC is the first public agency in Oregon to complete a project of this kind.
Oregon rulemaking for SB 98 wraps up, allowing NW Natural to deliver renewable energy to customers
Rulemaking for Senate Bill 98 (SB 98) is now complete, giving NW Natural a clear path to acquire renewable natural gas on behalf of customers, and forging the way for this newest renewable resource to be an increasing part of the state's energy supply.
NW Natural worked collaboratively with legislators and renewable natural gas stakeholders to create SB 98, a groundbreaking bill that was signed into law by Oregon Governor Kate Brown in 2019. Since then, the Public Utility Commission of Oregon (OPUC), consumer groups and natural gas utilities have been working through a rulemaking process, so natural gas utilities can begin procuring renewable natural gas under the legislation.
Renewable natural gas is a zero-carbon resource produced from local organic materials such as food, agricultural and forestry waste, wastewater or landfills. The gas can be cleaned and added into the existing natural gas system, where it is fully interchangeable with conventional natural gas.
More information about SB 98
SB 98 Details
Happening now: NW Natural renewable energy programs
Replacing diesel with natural gas in Portland
The Less We Can campaign: inspiring action toward a low-carbon, renewable-energy future
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