Fortistar and Paloma Dairy announced the beginning of construction on a dairy digester renewable natural gas facility, the Sunoma Renewable Biofuel Project. The new plant will produce 1.6 million gasoline gallon equivalents (GGE) of vehicle fuel annually for the Class 8 trucking sector—enough fuel to move 10 million miles of freight.
In addition to the significant community environmental benefits and savings for the fleets that use the fuel, the project will boost the local economy with 50 construction jobs and 6 permanent positions in Gila Bend, Arizona. This initiative also continues an aggressive renewable fuels growth strategy at Fortistar aimed at helping businesses and public agencies dramatically reduce their GHG emissions with a solution that also saves them money. TruStar Energy, a Fortistar portfolio company and developer of biomethane fueling stations, will market and deliver the fuel.
“This one project will help provide solutions for two important American industries. We are using our expertise to create new economic streams for dairies, while capturing methane and repurposing it to decarbonize the transportation sector,” said Mark Comora, President of Fortistar. “We are excited about partnering with the Van Hofwegen family on the Sunoma Renewable Biofuel Project to create the lowest carbon transportation fuel on the market.”
“The decision was easy,” remarked Robert Van Hofwegen Sr., head of the Paloma Dairy family business. “We saw a great environmental and economic opportunity in the management of our manure and emissions. The key was finding a partner that could execute and unlock the potential value. We believe we found that partner with Fortistar and we look forward to working with them on this most exciting project.”
Montrose Water and Sustainability Services, a division of Montrose Environmental Group, completed design and engineering for the project as well as equipment procurement. Montrose’s subject matter experts will provide construction oversight, along with startup and commissioning support for the project. Industrial Services Company (ISC) will lead the building of the system. The project will be interconnected with Southwest Gas Company who will also purchase the gas. Financing was provided by Live Oak Bank.
The Sunoma Renewable Biofuels Project is the third of 12 new Fortistar biomethane projects totaling nearly $500 million in capital that Fortistar expects to begin over the next year. These initiatives will help produce 120 million GGE of renewable gas over the next three years and reduce U.S. transportation emissions by 2 million metric tons of CO2 annually, which is the equivalent of taking approximately 424,628 passenger cars off the road.