Nevada, IA (January 9, 2023): Next milestone for bio energy operations in Iowa: The Verbio biorefinery in Nevada, a leader of the transition to clean and renewable energy, has completed its first full year of industrial scale renewable natural gas (RNG) production. It is the first of its kind in North America to produce RNG using agricultural residues as its feedstock at scale. Since commencing RNG production operations in December 2021, Verbio has successfully marked one full year of injecting quality natural gas into its partner Alliant Energy’s gas distribution system.
“Marking the one year anniversary of our RNG production in Iowa is an important milestone for our company. With deep technical expertise, strong partnerships and a dedicated team with a clear vision, we are taking big steps towards reaching full production capacity at our Nevada plant,” says Greg Faith, Verbio Nevada plant President and General Manager.
“We at Verbio see ourselves as innovators with a strong focus on our sustainable business model. Transitioning to renewable and clean energy is essential to the economy. It is a path to securing energy supply, and a contribution to the global climate protection,” explains Stefan Schreiber, Executive Board Member for North America of the internationally operating Verbio Group.
Efficient and innovative RNG production process
Verbio has installed a total production capacity of 7 million ethanol gallons equivalent of RNG annually and is well on track with the goal to achieve full scale production as set at the commissioning. The plant grinds square bales of corn stover purchased from local growers and transfers the ground product to a digester to create renewable natural gas. The gas is then cleaned and transferred to Alliant Energy which has a substation onsite at the plant.
The RNG process can consume up to 300 bales a day during production. To efficiently keep up with the plant’s production, two facilities were built on-site for corn stover bale storage. The North building has a footprint of 900 x 300 feet and can house 35,000 plus bales and 2.5 million cubic feet of humus. The main stover building is 1,000 x 150 feet and is the primary stover storage facility holding up to 75,000 bales. Placing these bales under roof, onsite and out of the elements helps to add to the efficiency of Verbio’s operations, and the predictability and high quality of RNG produced from the bales.
New revenue stream for local farmers
To secure feedstock for Verbio’s RNG production, the Verbio Agriculture division and agronomy team worked diligently to secure the stover from local growers, providing those farmers with a new revenue stream for their businesses. Most bales processed in 2022 came from the stover storage sites located around the plant. Future bales the plant will process will come straight from the fields. The agriculture team just finished the 2022 harvest season, securing over 26,000 acres for the plant’s upcoming production goals in 2023, with a further growth expected during the 2023 harvest season.
“Verbio is committed to providing itself, customers and suppliers with quality products and that starts with the installation of manageable warehousing that allows for safe storage of stover bales,” says Kyle McKown, Project Engineer at Verbio. “It is exciting to work on projects that invest in the future and community. Verbio is doing great things in the renewable energy space and it`s fun to work on projects that contribute to the goals we set out to capture.”
Further growth with advanced technology made in Germany
Verbio is proud to celebrate one year of RNG production, but the strategic vision does not stop there. Upon its completion in mid-2023, the second phase of the Nevada plant’s strategy in the US market will be operating as an ethanol biorefinery, producing 60 million gallons of corn-based ethanol and an additional 19 million ethanol gallons equivalent (EGE) of RNG from stillage. The interaction of RNG and ethanol production, unique to the Verbio brand, incorporates advanced technology developed and successfully used for more than a decade at the company’s facilities in Germany.
The success of this year’s RNG production at the Verbio Nevada Biorefinery was built on VERBIO AG’s long track record of successful renewable energy operations dating back over 20 years. Committed to operating its plants safely and in an environmentally sensitive manner, Verbio looks forward to further expanding its operations within North America as well as internationally in the coming years.
“In 2023 Verbio will keep building the foundation for enhanced economic development in the region. The American Midwest provides enormous potential for raw and residual materials for our business. Verbio is proud to be part of a continuing commitment to validate the viability and benefits of renewable energy and contribute to the State of Iowa’s renewable energy portfolio,” concludes Greg Faith.
For more information: www.verbio.us
Sarah Hoodjer, 866-306-4777 x. 3009, firstname.lastname@example.org (Marketing & Communications Manager, Verbio North America)
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