News | September 18, 2019

Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) Offers Lower-Carbon Option For Natural Gas Utilities

Guidance document by NGA & GTI outlines interconnection approach on ways to increase the utilization of RNG in the natural gas pipeline network

Needham, MA /PRNewswire/ - An interconnection guidance document released this week outlines the ways that renewable natural gas (RNG) can be effectively incorporated into local natural gas systems – to reduce carbon emissions, support local economic development, and utilize local supply resources. The report, "Interconnect Guide for Renewable Natural Gas in New York State," was prepared by the Northeast Gas Association (NGA) and GTI, sponsored by and in coordination with several New York State natural gas utilities. While developed for New York State, this report provides a guideline for RNG pipeline interconnections that will be applicable and of value throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Renewable natural gas – or RNG – is a pipeline-compatible, gaseous fuel derived from biomass or other renewable sources. It has lower lifecycle CO2e emissions than geological natural gas and is compositionally equivalent and fully interchangeable with natural gas. It is the product of raw biogas (from anaerobic digestion) or syngas (from biomass gasification) that has been upgraded to pipeline quality.

Regardless of the biomass source or conversion technology, when the raw gas is appropriately upgraded to meet trace constituent compositional equivalency and interchangeability requirements, RNG is an overall low carbon product that facilitates meeting long-term decarbonization goals. In addition, in certain areas RNG recovery and introduction can be a viable option for meeting localized demand for pipeline natural gas.

The guidance document provides a framework and technical guidance by which all parties – including project developers and the local gas utility – can work together utilizing common core principles and a rigorous technical framework to facilitate maximizing the acceptance and introduction of RNG into the natural gas pipeline network.

The report was prepared by GTI – a leading energy research, development, and training organization that addresses global energy and environmental challenges – in coordination with NGA and several of its New York State gas utility company members.

The utility sponsors are: Central Hudson Gas & Electric; Consolidated Edison Company of New York; National Fuel Gas Distribution; National Grid; New York State Electric & Gas (NYSEG); Orange & Rockland Utilities; and Rochester Gas & Electric (RGE).

Thomas Kiley, president and CEO of NGA, stated: "This report provides a pathway for the increased and successful utilization of RNG throughout New York, the Northeast and the U.S. I commend the leadership shown by New York's natural gas utilities in undertaking this effort with GTI, along with the encouragement of the New York State Public Service Commission. Gas utilities in our region are already setting the pace for RNG utilization – from Vermont to New York and beyond."

Bob Wilson, NGA vice president, special projects, said: "This document is intended to encourage maximum acceptance of RNG into the natural gas network by using a 'good science and common sense' approach. Our thanks to experts throughout the field, including The Coalition For Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) and the American Biogas Council (ABC), for their continued support and willingness to work collaboratively with the pipeline operator community in finding solutions to technical and policy questions that enable our mutual goal of maximizing acceptance of RNG supplies into the pipeline grid."

The report is posted on NGA's web site at:

NGA is a regional trade association that represents natural gas distribution companies, transmission companies, liquefied natural gas suppliers, and manufacturers and vendors to the industry. These companies provide natural gas to over 13 million customers in nine states (Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Vermont).

Source: Northeast Gas Association

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