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DTE Energy and Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy announce renewable natural gas project partnership

New facility will refine gas from dairy cow waste for RNG vehicle fuel
Biodigester artist's rendering
This artist's rendering shows the biodigester being constructed at Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy as part of the project.

DETROIT, Aug. 16, 2018 —DTE Energy broke ground last week on a project with Wisconsin-based Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy to begin creating renewable natural gas (RNG) generated from dairy cow waste as a fuel to power compressed natural gas vehicles, offsetting the use of fossil-based fuels.

The Kewaunee, Wisc.-based project is the first dairy-to-RNG facility for DTE’s Power & Industrial group, which specializes in large-scale renewable energy projects across the United States.

DTE has launched a broad sustainability initiative that will cut methane emissions by 80 percent by 2040.  “This project demonstrates DTE’s commitment to invest in renewable energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions while providing customers with reliable and affordable energy, whether it’s light and heat for homes and businesses or clean fuel for vehicles,” said Kevin Dobson, vice president of business development, DTE Biomass Energy.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with DTE on this project and to develop a sustainable source of renewable natural gas that can benefit everyone while reducing our farm’s environmental impact even more,” said J.J. Pagel, owner of Pagel’s Ponderosa.

Waste generated by the Pagel’s dairy herd will be pumped into an underground anaerobic digester, where methane released will be captured. This methane will then be refined to meet pipeline-quality standards, trucked to a central location and injected into a natural gas transmission line, ultimately for use as an alternative vehicle fuel.

Once the facility begins producing RNG, DTE estimates it will reduce yearly greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to removing 9,200 vehicles from the road, saving the equivalent of burning more than 4.8 million gallons of gasoline. Construction on the facility should be complete early next year.

The partnership with Pagel’s Ponderosa is one of several dairy-to-RNG facilities DTE Biomass Energy is constructing in Wisconsin as the company expands its portfolio of RNG sites, with five additional dairy sites beginning construction in the next few months, in total generating 450,000 to 500,000 million BTUs of renewable natural gas each year. DTE Biomass already operates 21 landfill gas projects across the country including five RNG facilities.

“We believe projects like this represent a great opportunity for us to leverage our experience in renewable natural gas operations to reduce emissions, support businesses like Pagel’s Ponderosa and strengthen our commitment to environmental responsibility,” said Dobson.

Construction and operation of the facilities making up this project is expected to add approximately 30 construction jobs and four full-time operating jobs in Wisconsin while also providing an additional revenue stream for the dairy farmers.

About DTE Energy

DTE Energy (NYSE:DTE) is a Detroit-based diversified energy company involved in the development and management of energy-related businesses and services nationwide. Its operating units include an electric utility serving 2.2 million customers in Southeastern Michigan and a natural gas utility serving 1.3 million customers in Michigan. The DTE Energy portfolio includes non-utility energy businesses focused on power and industrial projects, natural gas pipelines, gathering and storage, and energy marketing and trading.  As one of Michigan's leading corporate citizens, DTE Energy is a force for growth and prosperity in the 450 Michigan communities it serves in a variety of ways, including philanthropy, volunteerism and economic progress. Information about DTE Energy is available at dteenergy.com, empoweringmichigan.com, twitter.com/dte_energy and facebook.com/dteenergy.

 

For further information, members of the media may contact:

Brian Smith, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555

 

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For further information: Brian Smith, DTE Energy, 313.235.5555