Florida’s Commissioner of Agriculture Wilton Simpson and Chair of the House Infrastructure Strategies Committee Bobby Payne joined TECO Peoples Gas this week to celebrate the completion of a renewable natural gas (RNG) facility at Alliance Dairies in Trenton.
“Peoples Gas is proud to be a leader in Florida’s clean energy future and to contribute to our state’s energy diversity,” said Helen Wesley, president and CEO of Peoples Gas. “We are committed to reducing emissions on our own system while helping our customers and partners reduce theirs. And, with this facility, we’re also helping Alliance create a new revenue stream for their business, and that has a positive impact on Florida’s economy and food supply.”
Expected to be online in just a few weeks, the new RNG facility will produce 105,000 MMBtu of RNG, or enough clean, reliable energy to serve 4,400 homes per year.
RNG, which can be used just like natural gas, comes from organic waste in landfills, at wastewater treatment plants or on farms.
At Alliance Dairies, roughly 6,500 cows produce a lot of wholesome milk for Florida families. They also produce a lot of manure. Alliance Dairies does not consider manure waste. Instead, it’s a source of energy.
“We are firm believers in renewable resources and have long incorporated sustainability into our operations,” said Jan Henderson, CEO of Alliance Dairies. “Peoples Gas is a natural partner to help us continue to make good use of our byproducts, making this RNG facility a big win for both Florida dairy farming and the broader community.”
TECO Peoples Gas constructed the RNG facility at Alliance Dairies, which will capture methane emitted from manure, clean it and convert it to RNG. RNG can be distributed to support Florida’s homes and businesses through existing natural gas pipelines, requiring no additional infrastructure.
It’s a reliable and cost-effective energy source that is not only renewable but also reduces carbon emissions from the atmosphere.
“This partnership is an excellent example of what we can do when we embrace challenges and work together to find market-driven, common-sense solution,” Simpson said. “With this project, we’re increasing domestic and renewable energy production, strengthening Florida agriculture and our domestic food supply, and creating economic opportunities for our farmers — all without more government regulation and red tape. Thank you TECO Peoples Gas and Alliance Dairies for your innovative approach to serving the people of Florida.”
Others spotted at the celebration were: Levy County Sheriff Bobby McCallum, Levy County Commissioner John Meeks, Gilchrist County Commissioner Tommy Langford, Gilchrist County Commissioner Bill Martin and Gilchrist County Commissioner Darrell Smith.
After they cut the ribbon, community leaders joined Henderson on a tour of the dairy and new RNG facility.
The beverage of choice at the event was, of course, a carton of milk.
Expect to see more RNG facilities come online in the future as the Florida Legislature passed a measure last session that will enable operations like these to purchase machinery and equipment needed to produce RNG tax-free.