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.
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 Projects
NW Natural is now investing in renewable natural gas projects to acquire RNG for our customers. With our first two agreements, we already have options to purchase or develop RNG totaling about 2% of NW Natural’s annual sales volume in Oregon, enough to heat about 36,000 homes.
- December 2020: NW Natural formed an innovative renewable natural gas partnership with Tyson Foods and BioCarbN to convert waste to renewables at Tyson facilities. This RNG supply will be dedicated to NW Natural’s Oregon customers. Read more about this groundbreaking project.
- August 2021: NW Natural announced an agreement with Element Markets to purchase RNG for Oregon customers as part of the RNG program instituted under Oregon Senate Bill 98. 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.
- Renewable Thermal Credits are verified and certified by the Midwest Renewable Energy Tracking System (M-RETS). The M-RETS Renewable Thermal Tracking System issues one Renewable Thermal Certificate (RTC) for every dekatherm of renewable natural gas. A dekatherm (10 therms) is approximately 1 million British Thermal Units (MMBtu).
What about renewable hydrogen?
There is also the ability to create renewable hydrogen made through the power to gas process from wind and solar energy that would otherwise go to waste — and distribute that into the pipeline network. In fact, a team of Pacific Northwest public and private organizations have signed a memorandum of understanding to explore the development of what would be one of the largest renewable hydrogen production facilities in North America.
How is renewable hydrogen made?
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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