TotalEnergies, BlackRock firm join forces for biogas in United States

TotalEnergies and BlackRock owned Vanguard Renewables will advance 10 RNG projects into construction over the next 12 months, with a total annual RNG capacity of 0.8 TWh (2.5 Bcf).

Renewable Energy companies TotalEnergies and Vanguard Renewables (owned by BlackRock) have collaborated to create an equally owned joint venture to develop, build, and operate Farm Powered renewable natural gas (RNG) projects in the United States.

TotalEnergies and Vanguard Renewables will advance 10 RNG projects into construction over the next 12 months, with a total annual RNG capacity of 0.8 TWh (2.5 Bcf).

The three initial projects in this agreement are currently under construction in Wisconsin and Virginia, each with a unit capacity of nearly 75 GWh (0.25 Bcf) of RNG per year.

Beyond these first 10 projects, the partners will consider investing together in a potential pipeline of about 60 projects across the country for a total capacity of 5 TWh (15 Bcf) per year.

Olivier Guerrini, Vice President, Biogas at TotalEnergies, said, they have partnered to accelerate the development of food bio-waste processing into renewable natural gas in the US. “By expanding into this fast-growing market, our joint venture will create value for both companies while benefiting the food and farming sectors as well as providing a ready-to-use solution to industrial companies willing to decarbonize their energy supply. This joint venture is a new step for TotalEnergies in achieving its objective to produce 10 TWh of renewable natural gas by 2030.”

Vanguard Renewables, a key RNG player in the United States, currently operates 17 organics-to-renewable energy facilities with an annual capacity of more than 440 GWh (1.5 Bcf) of RNG. Looking beyond 2024, Vanguard Renewables plans to commission over 100 RNG projects by the end of 2028.

“This collaboration validates Vanguard’s leadership position in the RNG space in the U.S. and brings together our expertise with TotalEnergies’ extensive experience in large-scale energy development, safety procedures, and global partnerships,” said Neil H. Smith, CEO at Vanguard Renewables.

A Robust Partnership

The joint-venture will benefit from the expertise of both companies. Vanguard will contribute to the JV its ready-to-build projects at scale and also manage feedstock supply, the assets, operations, and renewable natural gas sales.

Leveraging its strong position in the European market, especially in France and Poland, TotalEnergies will bring to the JV its industrial expertise, providing technical support on the design and engineering of the facilities, and on the plant’s operational performance.

Both the companies will market the RNG through long-term purchase agreements with buyers actively engaged in decarbonization of their industrial processes.

The first 10 projects are based on a model of waste materials recovery from the food and beverage industries, supplemented with dairy manure from dairy farms. The anaerobic digesters will be built on the dairy farms themselves, which will then recover and manage the digestate (a byproduct of the anaerobic digestion process) as a low-carbon and nutrient dense fertilizer.

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