Dover-based Chesapeake Utilities Corp. announced a new partnership with CleanBay Renewables Inc.
CleanBay is an enviro-tech company focused on the production of sustainable renewable natural gas.
Under the arrangement, Chesapeake Utilities Corp. will transport the renewable natural gas produced at CleanBay’s planned Westover, MD bio-refinery, to Chesapeake Utilities’ natural gas infrastructure in the Delmarva region.
Site preparation is underway at the company’s first facility in Westover and construction is scheduled to begin later this year. CleanBay’s second facility in Georgetown is slated for construction in early 2021. Both plants, when combined with the recent agreement signed with Chesapeake will provide renewable natural gas.
The natural gas would be generated via digesters using chicken waste. the environmental impact of disposing of the litter, which has been blamed for putting excess nitrogen into the water supply. A byproduct would be fertilizer.
Renewable natural gas is viewed as a way to produce cleaner energy and deal with greenhouse gases from animal operations.
The renewable natural gas generated at CleanBay’s Westover facility will reach the market through the joint effort of Chesapeake Utilities and its subsidiaries, Eastern Shore Natural Gas Company (ESNG) and Marlin Gas Services.
Marlin Gas will transport via truck renewable natural gas from the CleanBay facility to Eastern Shore Natural Gas, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation’s interstate infrastructure pipeline, where it will be distributed to end-user customers. Uses can include vehicles powered by natural gas.
“Through this partnership, Chesapeake Utilities Corporation has an immediate and scalable opportunity to further impact climate change,” said Thomas Spangler, CleanBay Renewables’ executive chairman. “Our process to turn poultry litter into renewable natural gas is a sustainable, environmentally friendly way to both positively influence our region’s poultry ecosystem and reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions for end-use customers including powering vehicle fleets with clean, green energy.”
Similar to additional planned CleanBay facilities, the Westover bio-refinery will recycle more than 150,000 tons of chicken litter annually. By repurposing a potential source of excess nutrients, CleanBay can generate the equivalent of the amount that can heat approximately 10,000 homes.
“Utilizing the renewable natural gas derived from processing excess poultry industry organics in the Delmarva region and transforming that into a carbon-negative sustainable energy source, supports our long-standing commitment to our customers and communities to invest in a resilient, environmentally-friendly and diverse energy supply,” said Jeff Householder, CEO of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. “This is a win-win for the region as farmers on the Delmarva Peninsula also need an economical way to dispose of agricultural waste, prevent runoff into local waters, and enrich the soil to increase future agricultural production.”
“The clean energy produced at each facility will reduce 550,000 tons annually of greenhouse gas emission equivalents (equal to removing 107,795 gasoline-fueled vehicles off the road)” said Donal Buckley, CleanBay’s CEO.
The Westover facility is scaled to be large enough to process meaningful quantities of poultry litter and will include more than $200 million of capital investment by CleanBay. Site preparation is underway, and construction is scheduled to begin later this year.
Chesapeake Utilities’ the goal is to create a renewable natural gas ecosystem directly connected to Chesapeake Utilities’ infrastructure.
For more information on CleanBay visit https://cleanbayrenewables.com.