WASHINGTON, DC—Today, Maine’s U.S. Senator Susan Collins and Representatives Chellie Pingree (ME-01) and Jared Golden (ME-02) welcomed news from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) that Yarmouth-based Summit Natural Gas will be receiving a portion of $64.7 million in funding for 22 projects focused on producing cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels.
Yarmouth-based Summit Natural Gas of Maine, Inc. was awarded $4,977,437 to deploy a biomethanation process at a dairy digester in Clinton. The process will source naturally occurring organic waste from six dairy farms in Clinton and other areas in Maine to create biogas, which can be used for heating, cooking and other processes. This process is another critical way that Maine farms are stepping up to be a part of the climate solution - by working with Summit Natural Gas to capture and reuse the emissions from their organic waste, preventing it from being released into the atmosphere as methane.
“Methane makes up about ten percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but it is 84 times more potent than carbon dioxide and highly destructive to the climate,” said Senator Collins. “This investment will support Maine dairy farmers while helping to protect public health and the environment at the same time. I have long been a supporter of efforts to reduce pollution, and I will continue to advance policies in the Senate to tackle climate change.”
“Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases that’s released into the atmosphere, which is why farmers’ participation is key to fighting climate change. Digesters like the one that will be deployed in Clinton will go a long way in our ongoing and vital efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Congresswoman Pingree. “As a member of the House Appropriations Committee, I am proud to have advocated for funding projects that are making renewable energy and fuels a priority in combatting climate change.”
“By working with dairy farmers to turn farm waste into renewable energy, this cutting-edge facility in Clinton will help support Maine’s family dairy farms, keep our air clean, and provide renewable, affordable energy for our state,” Congressman Golden said. “It’s another example of workers in our heritage industries — like farming, logging, or shipbuilding — innovating and adapting to meet the challenges of the future. I’m glad that the Department of Energy recognized the potential of Summit Utilities’ innovative project, and I look forward to seeing it get up and running.”
“This grant presents an incredible opportunity for Maine to be a leader in the development of a new renewable energy resource,” said Kurt Adams, President and CEO of Summit Utilities. “With this grant from the Department of Energy, we will develop the first field deployed power-to-gas system in the United States by combining green hydrogen and captured carbon. This will create a carbon negative energy source that can be used to keep homes warm and industries running while reducing emissions. We are grateful for the support from the Department of Energy, our congressional delegation, and our many partners on this project including SoCal Gas, National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Plug Power, and Electrochaea.”
Summit’s digester project is among the 22 selected projects focused on producing cost-effective, low-carbon biofuels that are receiving funding from the DOE. This funding is part the Biden administration’s Sustainable Aviation Fuels (SAF) Grand Challenge to decarbonize the aviation sector by 2050. The DOE said these investments will advance technologies to create replacements for petroleum fuels used in heavy-duty forms of transportation like airplanes and ships and accelerate America’s path to a net-zero emissions economy by 2050.
This release is available online here.