TC Energy’s Threemile Canyon Farms renewable gas interconnect project
Cattle are notorious for being big producers of methane. However, there are some creative and productive solutions for mitigating the environmental impact of cattle. One involves harnessing their byproducts into another source of energy—a source capable of supplying millions of cubic feet per day of natural gas to vehicles, homes, and businesses
This is happening at a large scale at Threemile Canyon Farms in Oregon, where some 33,000 dairy cows produce 2 million lbs of milk each day. Those cows also currently produce 1.2–1.4 MMscf/d of renewable natural gas, or biogas, with room to grow. TC Energy owns the important role of making sure the gas reaches consumers in California via an interconnect brought in service last year.
Participation in the project is part of TC Energy’s commitment to helping remove emissions from the gas value chain while continuing to deliver affordable energy to consumers. A broad, multitalented team was assembled to evaluate the Threemile biogas stream and develop a meter station equipped with proper analyzers, shut-in valving, and equipment to ensure the gas entering the pipeline is tariff quality. Now operational, flow meters on farm grounds deliver and receive gas at the same time.
The interconnect can move up to 4 MMscf/d of biogas off the farm, a level that’s “definitely a goal the farm would like to attain” given the strong business case for the project, said JP Tan, who served as Threemile interconnect project manager. Government agencies are providing tax incentives for developers to build the infrastructure required to harvest biogas.
The benefits to the environment are also significant. As part of Threemile’s methane extraction process, some 136,000 tonnes/year of CO2 are avoided, equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from 28,875 passenger vehicles, CO2 emissions from the energy consumption of 16,285 homes, or carbon sequestration by 160,061 acres of forest land, according to stats provided by the farm.
And, when considering TC Energy’s involvement in other biogas projects in the U.S., the company is helping make an even larger impact. TC Energy is also receiving gas captured from cow manure at Town Hall Road in Wisconsin and, beyond the cow pastures, a landfill at Dane County in Wisconsin and hog manure at Ruckman Farm in Missouri, each of which delivers around 1 MMscf/d.