Viridi Partners with American Organic Energy to Develop One of the Largest Food Waste-to-RNG Projects in the United States
Located in Yaphank, NY, the AOE facility represents a historic step toward circularity in waste disposal, housing the first anaerobic digester to process food waste in the New York City metropolitan area. The project will divert food waste from landfills located up to 300 miles away and transform it into RNG, via anaerobic digestion, and into other renewable products, such as fertilizer. The project will generate emissions reductions equivalent to nearly 100,000 tons of CO2 per year and is projected to produce renewable fuels equivalent to 10 million gallons of gasoline annually.
“This landmark project demonstrates to the renewable energy industry that large-scale food waste-to-RNG projects are viable as robust financial investments and as environmentally impactful solutions to our greenhouse gas emissions and food waste crises,” said Dan Crouse, CEO of Viridi.
This deal is significant for Viridi and for the renewable energy industry as it will deliver RNG at an attractive price-per-ton of CO2 avoided without being dependent upon the credit markets. The firm, which launched last year with the backing of Warburg Pincus and Green Rock Energy Partners, has signed an offtake agreement with FortisBC, a British Columbia-based energy solutions provider. Per the agreement, which has a term length of 20 years, FortisBC will purchase the RNG produced at the AOE facility to deliver to its customers. Financing partners supporting the construction of the project include JP Morgan, NY Green Bank, and Pathward®, N.A. Green Arrow Engineering serves as the owner’s engineer, and Venture Engineering & Construction is the project’s engineering, procurement, and construction contractor. Financial advisor to AOE was Mike Land, formerly with Baker Tilly Capital and now with Virentis Advisors.
The project will drive substantial positive environmental impact, largely by reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with current food waste disposal practices. The carbon intensity of the AOE facility, which is located at the Long Island Compost site, will be approximately -100gCO2e/MJ. Food waste is the single most common material landfilled and incinerated across the United States. As such, the AOE project aligns with food waste reduction goals set by the USDA and EPA, which target decreases of 50 percent by 2030.
“The AOE project provides a cost-effective, sustainable solution for a meaningful portion of food waste generated annually in the New York City metropolitan area. I’m proud to embark on the next phase of this project with Viridi, an experienced RNG partner, as we envision the possibility of scaling production at the site in the future,” said Charles Vigliotti, Chief Executive Officer and President of AOE.
Viridi’s AOE partnership marks the firm’s third high-profile deal announcement in the first half of 2023. In February, Viridi announced its partnership with Marathon County, Wisconsin to convert the county’s landfill emissions into clean RNG, equal to more than three million gallons of gasoline annually. Just last month, the firm announced a partnership with Baldwin County, Alabama to develop a waste-to-RNG project at that county’s landfill.