High diesel fuel prices and market volatility of petroleum based products are driving up interest in Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) as a replacement fuel source, especially for fleet vehicles prone to high-fuel consumption. Transit buses are the largest users of natural gas vehicles and waste collection vehicles are the fastest growing sector using natural gas (American Public Transit Association). The City of Fargo is capturing the opportunity to use Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) from the Fargo landfill for use in their fleet vehicles.
The City of Fargo has owned and operated an active landfill gas collection system since 2002 and it is common practice at landfills to flare the gas into the atmosphere. The City has a history of innovation and developing alternative energy solutions with the gas generated at their landfill. Wenck has assisted the City for years with landfill planning, construction, and landfill gas management. Wenck designed the original active gas collection system as a measure to control odors at their urban landfill and originally the landfill gas was sent offsite for use as a boiler fuel at a nearby industrial facility.
As the landfill expands so does the need to expand the landfill gas collection system and determine additional uses for the increased gas generated. To date four expansions to the active gas system have been completed over the past 15 years. The system is due for another expansion and Wenck is designing a system to convert landfill gas into RNG to be used in their fleet vehicles. Utilizing the RNG in fleet vehicles has several advantages including: fuel costs savings; reduced local exhaust emissions; securing the City’s fuel supply; creating energy credits for additional income; and reducing the flared gas emissions at the landfill.
Wenck is currently on schedule with the first of two phases for the project. Phase 1 construction will begin in 2017 and continue into 2018. Phase 2 includes construction of the vehicle fueling station and is scheduled to be operational in 2019. The City is evaluating their fleet vehicle options and plans to begin running the new RNG fueled vehicles in the fall of 2019.
Wenck helped the City obtain a project funding allocation of $2.8 million from a Qualified Energy Conservation Bond (QECB) through the North Dakota Industrial Commission and a grant of $500,000 through the North Dakota Renewable Energy Council. Wenck has a long history of landfill planning, design, construction, and operation. Innovative alternatives to managing landfill gas are available and we are here to help determine what is best for your situation.