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Archaea Energy and Republic Services to open first joint RNG plant

An RNG plant
An Archaea Energy RNG plant Archaea Energy

Archaea Energy and Republic Services are celebrating the first renewable natural gas (RNG) plant in the companies' Lightning Renewables joint venture (JV). The Archaea Modular Design (AMD) plant at Republic's National Serv-All Landfill in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is the first of approximately 40 landfill gas-to-RNG projects targeted by the JV and is scheduled to come online this summer.

"From the start, our focus has been opening plants safely and reliably, and demonstrating progress and growth," Archaea Energy CEO Starlee Sykes said. "Continuing to build momentum with the Lightning Renewables JV, the Fort Wayne plant is just the beginning of our incredible partnership with Republic Services to capture landfill emissions and provide customers with lower-emission, lower-carbon fuel."

"Republic Services is investing in sustainability innovation to provide decarbonization solutions for our customers, and our Lightning Renewables partnership with Archaea Energy is a prime example," said Jon Vander Ark, Republic Services president and chief executive officer. "We're proud to celebrate the first of the approximately 40 RNG projects in the Lightning Renewables portfolio. Together, we're helping create a more sustainable world."

Traditionally, RNG plants have been custom-built, but AMD allows plants to be built on skids with interchangeable components. Using a standardized modular design leads to faster builds than previous industry standards. The Fort Wayne AMD plant will convert landfill gas, a natural byproduct of the decomposition of waste, collected from Republic Services' landfill into RNG, the use of which can lead to local air quality benefits and an increase and diversity of domestic energy production, according to the US EPA.

The Fort Wayne plant, once in operation, is expected to process up to 6,400 scfm into RNG – enough gas to heat more than 25,000 homes annually, according to the EPA's Landfill Gas Energy Benefits calculator.

With the 2022 acquisition of Archaea, bp says that it is now the largest RNG producer in the U.S., enhancing its ability to support customers' decarbonization goals and progressing its aim to reduce the average lifecycle carbon intensity of the energy products it sells.

The Lightning Renewables RNG projects directly support Republic Services' long-term sustainability goal to beneficially reuse 50 percent more biogas by 2030. The JV's portfolio of projects will bring Republic Services' total landfill gas-to-energy portfolio to more than 100.

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