Lakewood, CO

Denver-area energy firm starts buying natural gas from Indiana farm

Matt Whittaker
A natural gas stove.Photo byQuasimime via Flickr

By Matt Whittaker / NewsBreak Denver

(Lakewood, Colo.) A suburban Denver-area company this week started buying natural gas from a plant on an Indiana farm that produces it from food and agricultural waste.

United Green Energy, a subsidiary of Lakewood-based energy marketing and logistics company United Energy Trading, on Wednesday officially began an agreement from a biodigester in Reynolds, Indiana, that uses food waste, cow manure and other agriculture waste to produce electricity, transportation fuel and natural gas.

Run by BioTown Biogas (BTB), the facility is one of the world’s largest on-farm biodigesters for renewable energy production. It is expected to produce more than 3 million gallons of transportation fuel and 42,000,000 kilowatt hours of electricity while mitigating the atmospheric release of an estimated 150,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. 

“The facility's commissioning represents a significant milestone for the North American renewable energy industry, as BTB charts the path toward circular agricultural practices and proves that farming and livestock operations can help to create renewable energy that powers the future,” BioTown said in a statement.

The natural gas produced at the farm in Indiana provides additional energy to United Green Energy’s renewable energy marketing business. The company plans to sell the natural gas into a pipeline system and store equivalent volumes as that becomes regulatorily feasible.

Financial terms of the agreement weren’t disclosed. 

Although controversial because of its role in climate change, natural gas is considered by many to be a necessary transition fuel as the economy moves away from coal for the production of electricity. While natural gas is much cleaner burning than coal, its use and production with traditional drilling methods releases planet-warming greenhouse gas.

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Matt Whittaker writes about natural resources industries, including oil and gas, mining, renewable energy, agriculture and cannabis. He's been based in the Denver metro area since 2013. You can follow him on Twitter @mattswhittaker.

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