SoCalGas Files Application to Develop California's Largest Renewable Natural Gas Pilot Project, Turning Agricultural Waste into Fuel
The pilot project is expected to produce up to 4.5 billion cubic feet of RNG annually from orchard waste, along with almond, pistachio and walnut shells
LOS ANGELES, Aug. 8, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has filed an application with the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support the development of a pilot project that would utilize organic waste such as chipped wood, along with nut shells, and turn it into renewable natural gas (RNG).
If approved, the project would be the largest RNG project in the state of California, producing up to 4.5 billion cubic feet of fuel each year from 400,000 to 500,000 tons of agricultural waste, some of which would otherwise be burned. It would more than double already historic deliveries of RNG in 2022 from existing projects within SoCalGas's service territory and could deliver carbon-neutral or negative fuel equivalent to taking up to 52,000 gasoline vehicles off the road each year.
The project would be developed by San Joaquin Renewables LLC in the City of McFarland. Pursuant to CPUC direction, SoCalGas proposed funding its portion of the project – about $13 million – with cap-and-trade funds. If approved, which could come as soon as May 2024, the project is planned to come online in late 2026.
"As the State of California has recognized, renewable natural gas remains a critical tool, along with other decarbonization pathways such as electrification, hydrogen and carbon management, in our efforts to decarbonize our great state," said Neil Navin, Chief Clean Fuels Officer at SoCalGas. "Instead of burning this agricultural waste, this project could produce more RNG annually than the entire state of Hawaii uses each year, putting this waste to good use to help shore up energy reliability and resiliency as we transition to a clean energy economy."
"Converting biomass into renewable natural gas provides a sustainable and renewable source of energy from waste material," said T.J. Paskach, President of San Joaquin Renewables. "Additionally, the San Joaquin Renewables facility will help reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, will help clean the air of the Central Valley by producing a carbon negative fuel, and will provide hundreds of high-quality jobs in McFarland."
The project will work by using a non-combustion process to turn agricultural waste into a mixture of gases, including hydrogen. The mixture is then cleaned, compressed and is then usable as RNG.
In February 2022, the CPUC adopted the Renewable Gas Procurement Standard, which sets goals for the procurement of renewable gas made by capturing methane emitted by organic waste from wastewater treatment plants, dairies, landfills, agricultural waste, and forestry residues. The standard also requires SoCalGas to replace approximately 12.2 percent of the traditional gas it delivers to core customers with renewable natural gas by 2030. The CPUC also required SoCalGas to submit an application proposing at least one gasification or pyrolysis pilot project focused on conversion of woody biomass to biomethane.
RNG is a key tool in decarbonizing the gas system as it can be carbon neutral or even negative, depending on its source. RNG, along with carbon management and clean fuels like hydrogen, is one in a suite of tools SoCalGas is utilizing to help achieve its aim to have net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045.
More information about SoCalGas' renewable natural gas efforts can be found here: https://socalgas.com/rng.
SoCalGas' mission is to build the cleanest, safest and most innovative energy infrastructure company in America. In support of that mission, SoCalGas aspires to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in its operations and delivery of energy by 2045 and to replacing 20 percent of its traditional natural gas supply to core customers with renewable natural gas (RNG) by 2030. Renewable natural gas is made from waste created by landfills and wastewater treatment plants. SoCalGas is also committed to investing in its gas delivery infrastructure while keeping bills affordable for customers. SoCalGas is a subsidiary of Sempra (NYSE: SRE), an energy infrastructure company based in San Diego.
This press release contains statements that constitute forward-looking statements within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. Forward-looking statements are based on assumptions with respect to the future, involve risks and uncertainties, and are not guarantees. Future results may differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement. These forward-looking statements represent our estimates and assumptions only as of the date of this [press release/presentation/article/report/other name of document]. We assume no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statement as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
In this press release, forward-looking statements can be identified by words such as "believes," "expects," "intends," "anticipates," "contemplates," "plans," "estimates," "projects," "forecasts," "should," "could," "would," "will," "confident," "may," "can," "potential," "possible," "proposed," "in process," "construct," "develop," "opportunity," "initiative," "target," "outlook," "optimistic," "poised," "maintain," "continue," "progress," "advance," "goal," "aim," "commit," or similar expressions, or when we discuss our guidance, priorities, strategy, goals, vision, mission, opportunities, projections, intentions or expectations.
Factors, among others, that could cause actual results and events to differ materially from those expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement include risks and uncertainties relating to: decisions, investigations, inquiries, regulations, denials or revocations of permits, consents, approvals or other authorizations, renewals of franchises, and other actions by (i) the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), U.S. Department of Energy, and other governmental and regulatory bodies and (ii) the U.S. and states, counties, cities and other jurisdictions therein where we do business; the success of business development efforts and construction projects, including risks in (i) completing construction projects or other transactions on schedule and budget, (ii) realizing anticipated benefits from any of these efforts if completed, and (iii) obtaining the consent or approval of third parties; litigation, arbitrations and other proceedings, and changes to laws and regulations; cybersecurity threats, including by state and state-sponsored actors, of ransomware or other attacks on our systems or the systems of third parties with which we conduct business, including the energy grid or other energy infrastructure, all of which have become more pronounced due to recent geopolitical events; our ability to borrow money on favorable terms and meet our obligations, including due to (i) actions by credit rating agencies to downgrade our credit ratings or place those ratings on negative outlook or (ii) rising interest rates and inflation; failure of our counterparties to honor their contracts and commitments; the impact on affordability of our customer rates and our cost of capital and on our ability to pass through higher costs to customers due to (i) volatility in inflation, interest rates and commodity prices and (ii) the cost of the clean energy transition in California; the impact of climate and sustainability policies, laws, rules, regulations, disclosures and trends, including actions to reduce or eliminate reliance on natural gas, increased uncertainty in the political or regulatory environment for California natural gas distribution companies, the risk of nonrecovery for stranded assets, and our ability to incorporate new technologies; weather, natural disasters, pandemics, accidents, equipment failures, explosions, terrorism, information system outages or other events that disrupt our operations, damage our facilities or systems, cause the release of harmful materials or fires or subject us to liability for damages, fines and penalties, some of which may not be recoverable through regulatory mechanisms or insurance or may impact our ability to obtain satisfactory levels of affordable insurance; the availability of natural gas and natural gas storage capacity, including disruptions caused by failures in the pipeline system or limitations on the withdrawal of natural gas from storage facilities; changes in tax and trade policies, laws and regulations, including tariffs, revisions to international trade agreements and sanctions, any of which may increase our costs, reduce our competitiveness, impact our ability to do business with certain counterparties, or impair our ability to resolve trade disputes; and other uncertainties, some of which are difficult to predict and beyond our control.
These risks and uncertainties are further discussed in the reports that the company has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). These reports are available through the EDGAR system free-of-charge on the SEC's website, www.sec.gov, and on Sempra's website, www.sempra.com. Investors should not rely unduly on any forward-looking statements.
Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor Electric Delivery Company LLC (Oncor) and Infraestructura Energética Nova, S.A.P.I. de C.V. (IEnova) are not the same companies as the California utilities, San Diego Gas & Electric Company or Southern California Gas Company, and Sempra Infrastructure, Sempra Infrastructure Partners, Sempra Texas, Sempra Mexico, Sempra Texas Utilities, Oncor and IEnova are not regulated by the CPUC.
SOURCE Southern California Gas Company
For further information: Brian Haas, Office of Media and Public Information, (213) 244-2442, firstname.lastname@example.org