TC Energy Corp. has launched a collaboration aimed at connecting renewable natural gas (RNG) to a series of transportation hubs across its U.S. network of pipelines.
The Calgary-based energy infrastructure company has tapped GreenGasUSA Holdings LLC, an RNG operator and developer, to expand the volume of low-carbon gas captured from farms and landfills within the next few years.
TC’s Roger Williams, director of business development and U.S. natural gas, told NGI that most RNG projects face marketability challenges because of scale and distance from injection points. By using trucks to carry RNG to a hub directly connected to pipelines, he said TC could help lower those barriers.
“What these RNG injection hubs will ultimately do is serve RNG developers by lowering their initial capital to enter the market and have several of them enter one slot,” Williams said.
TC and GreenGas have already targeted their first project in Northampton County, NC with startup possible in the spring of 2023. GreenGas, based in Charleston, SC, was originally developing a facility to directly connect with a project on TC’s pipeline when the companies decided to collaborate, Williams told NGI.
GreenGas contracts with farms, landfills and wastewater treatment facilities to gather and process biogas from organic waste to RNG. GreenGas also operates a pipeline injection point in Georgetown, SC.
TC has been transporting RNG since 2005 and currently has 10 injection sites across its U.S. system and two in Canada. Williams said the company would be working to increase that footprint, as well as developing its first RNG connections in Mexico.
Within the next four years, the company could have transportation hubs under development in several states.
Interest and development of RNG has grown as companies and state governments have tapped it as a lower-carbon solution. Large utilities have also increasingly outlined plans to use it to replace fossil fuels in their gas networks.
TC’s RNG initiative is focused on what it can do to “enable other companies to look into RNG” as a resource for any number of applications like producing liquefied natural gas, generating electricity or distribution by utilities, William said. However, as the business develops, he said the company is exploring future plans that align with more economic RNG production.
TC has also been exploring hydrogen production. Among other things, it is partnering with Nikola Corp. and Hyzon Motors to develop applications for the transportation sector.
“I think there are ambitions to fuel some of that hydrogen production with RNG in the future,” Williams said.