EcoEngineers’ Economic Impact Study Paves Way for RNG Pilot Project

The following is a press release from Nicor Gas, published on July 19, 2020.

Nicor Gas Receives Approval for Renewable Natural Gas Pilot Program

NAPERVILLE, Ill. – July 19, 2021 – Nicor Gas’ Renewable Gas Interconnection Pilot received approval July 8 from the Illinois Commerce Commission. The pilot aims to encourage the development of renewable natural gas (RNG) production facilities within Nicor Gas’ service territory, and allows the company to determine how RNG can be efficiently integrated into its natural gas distribution system as a safe, reliable and clean energy source for customers.

“Nicor Gas is committed to helping our communities thrive and to bettering our environment. This program seeks to do that by bringing sustainable, clean RNG to the marketplace, while creating clean energy jobs and new revenue streams for Illinois businesses,” said John O. Hudson III, president and CEO of Nicor Gas. “We look forward to working with RNG producers and consumers during the pilot program while helping our state lead in the progress toward a clean energy future.”

As a part of the pilot, Nicor Gas will enable the interconnection of new RNG facilities, which create a pathway for lower carbon fuels to be available to customers by displacing traditional, geologic natural gas. With an investment capped at $16 million, the pilot marks the first time an Illinois gas utility has a tariff that allows its distribution system to interconnect renewable fuel production systems, creating a sustainable and clean energy solution for Illinois.

RNG is a sustainable and reliable non-fossil fuel produced from sources such as food and animal waste, wastewater plants and landfill gas. As these organic waste sources decompose, methane is produced. RNG projects, like those eligible to enroll in Nicor Gas’ Renewable Gas Interconnection Pilot, capture the methane and convert it into RNG that is an interchangeable substitute for geologic natural gas. Converting waste to clean RNG and integrating it into Nicor Gas’ distribution system reduces greenhouse gas emissions while creating new jobs and business opportunities in the community.

According to an Illinois economic impact study by EcoEngineers, just one RNG project could create up to 229 part-time jobs during construction, 46 full-time jobs during operations and $478 million in total economic output over the 20-year project life.

For more information about RNG and Nicor Gas, please visit nicorgas.com/rng. RNG suppliers interested in the Renewable Gas Interconnection Pilot can contact renewablegas@southernco.com for more information.