DTE Biomass Energy has acquired two landfill gas-to-energy projects in Texas, purchasing both the operating Fort Bend Power Producers, LLC facility just outside of Rosenberg and the Seabreeze landfill gas development project in Angleton. Construction of the Seabreeze plant is expected to commence next month.
Fort Bend and Seabreeze bring the number of landfill gas-to-energy projects DTE operates in Texas to three and gives DTE five facilities enterprise-wide which convert landfill gas to pipeline-quality renewable natural gas (RNG).
The RNG produced at the Fort Bend project is derived from landfill gas which is then ultimately processed to pipeline-quality standards. This low-carbon fuel is extremely versatile and fully compatible with the U.S. natural gas infrastructure. Today RNG is primarily used to power compressed natural gas and liquefied natural gas vehicles, offsetting the use of fossil-based fuel. The purchase is consistent with DTE's recently announced, broad sustainability initiative to help address climate change.
"These landfill gas-to-energy projects support our continued commitment to renewable energy and growing interest in supplying the renewable vehicle fuels market," said DTE Biomass President Mark Cousino. "We see an increasing demand for natural gas powered vehicles - and RNG production provides a clean, sustainable fuel source with the benefit of reduced emissions over standard fuel."
Constructed in 2013, the Fort Bend facility generates enough RNG to supply fuel for 560 diesel transit buses annually. Later this year, DTE will increase the output of the project by expanding the plant's capacity to generate enough RNG to fuel over 1,000 diesel transit buses. Forecast to reach commercial operations in the fourth quarter of this year, the Seabreeze facility is expected to produce a similar volume.
The plants' economic and environmental benefits are significant. The projects reduce greenhouse gas by collecting and destroying landfill gas which, according to the EPA, is 25 times more harmful to the environment than carbon dioxide. It also creates jobs and delivers a proven and cost-effective renewable energy source.