The Gas Company pioneering renewable natural gas in Hawaii
The Gas Company (TGC), Hawaii's clean gas energy provider, is now producing renewable natural gas (RNG) for Hawaii. The Gas Company is transforming non-food-grade oils and fats into clean, reliable gas and biofuels at its renewable natural gas pilot plant in West Oahu.
The renewable natural gas plant is capable of processing up to one million gallons of feedstock per year, and it is designed to allow for expansion to accommodate increasing demand and feedstock supply availability.
The facility was designed in association with Primoris Renewables, a leading innovator in renewable energy technology, and is located on the premises of TGC's synthetic natural gas (SNG) manufacturing plant in Oahu's Campbell Industrial Park. The Hawaii Renewable Energy Development Venture, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, awarded a $1 million grant to The Gas Company to support the RNG plant demonstration. No tax credit or further taxpayer support is required for the project.
"The production of renewable natural gas is a major milestone that will allow us to provide sustainable energy from local agricultural products that were previously discarded or shipped out of state," said TGC's president and CEO, Jeffrey Kissel.
The Gas Company is working with companies in Hawaii to purchase locally produced, sustainable non-food-grade oils and fats for the production of renewable natural gas.
Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie participated in today's dedication of the RNG plant. "Hawaii's clean energy industry is becoming a test bed for clean technologies because of our rich portfolio of renewable energy sources and strong partnerships," he said. "Our state government has put in place the most aggressive clean energy policy in the nation, and The Gas Company's renewable natural gas pilot plant is a prime example of how Hawaii is investing in itself rather than exporting its dollars elsewhere."
Because Hawaii relies on imported petroleum for approximately 90 percent of its energy – more than twice as much as any other state – Hawaii's state government launched the Hawaii Clean Energy Initiative in 2008, calling for 70 percent clean energy by 2030. The Gas Company is working toward producing half of its gas from renewable and sustainable sources.
The new facility transforms fats and oils in a process that uses the heat from its existing gas production facilities, surplus hydrogen and steam to produce renewable natural gas and biofuels.
The renewable natural gas and biofuels that the RNG pilot plant produces will be incorporated into The Gas Company's existing manufacturing and distribution operations. Renewable natural gas will displace gas produced from petroleum and will be distributed through The Gas Company's 1,100-mile Oahu pipeline network. The cost for renewable natural gas should be the same as or less than gas produced from current sources, without relying on taxpayer subsidy.