The California Energy Commission (CEC)’s recent round of funding has assisted two grant recipients to work together to create a major biomethane project. Both recipients claim a first for the United States. An Atlas Disposal Industries facility will use natural gas produced by Clean World’s digestion system to fuel the company’s clean-fuel fleet, as well as vehicles from area jurisdictions and agencies.
Clean energy waste solutions provider Clean World Partners received a $6 million grant to increase the capacity of its Organic Waste Recycling Center at the South Area Transfer Station, making it the largest commercial-scale, high solids anaerobic digestion (AD) system in the country.
Waste and recycling removal company Atlas Disposal Industries received a $300,000 grant to support construction of the United States’ first anaerobic digestion-based renewable natural gas (biomethane) fueling station.
The CEC also provided feasibility funding for the project’s first phase.
The Sacramento-based companies recently broke ground on the $13 million anaerobic digester and renewable natural gas fueling station in south Sacramento. The facility will use natural gas produced by converting food and organic waste collected by Atlas Disposal from area food processing companies, restaurants and supermarkets into renewable natural gas.
“Our development of this facility makes clear the viability of this technology,” said Michele Wong, CEO of Clean World Partners. “Our systems are adaptable to a wide range of situations and we can get them up and running quickly. We’re especially excited with this center about the use of renewable natural gas as vehicle fuel.”
“We are pleased that the California Energy Commission sees the importance of moving forward on this ground breaking facility and is demonstrating its support by helping us fund this project. Powering our fleet and others with renewable natural gas will play an important role in improving the Sacramento region’s air quality,” said Dave Sikich, CEO of Atlas Disposal.
Atlas Disposal already has about 25 percent of its fleet operating with compressed natural gas (CNG).
The initial 25-ton per day waste-recycling operation will produce 164,000 diesel gallon equivalents annually, enough to fuel approximately 80 school buses for one year. When complete in 2013, the operation will divert 36,500 tons of waste from the region’s landfills, replacing 1 million gallons of diesel per year with renewable natural gas – enough to power 320 school buses – and producing 2 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually – enough to power 200 Sacramento homes.
Atlas Disposal will develop an educational and interpretive facility on-site to showcase the Sacramento region’s cutting edge commitment to reducing waste while producing renewable energy and creating local jobs.
An estimated 16 jobs will be created and more than $1 million in annual tax revenues will be generated to support the renewable natural gas fueling facility and the organic waste recycling center.
(This article primarily compiled using information from Atlas Disposal and Clean Energy Partners press releases)