April 24, 2020. To promote the production of made-in-Minnesota renewable natural gas (RNG) and supply the increasing demand for this clean energy resource, CenterPoint Energy is seeking to open its Minnesota pipeline system to natural gas created from organic materials such as agricultural manure, landfill waste, wastewater and commercial food waste.

CenterPoint Energy has submitted an ‘interconnection’ proposal to the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission that would allow the utility to accept Minnesota-produced RNG into its distribution system. RNG suppliers will pay for the interconnection service, with no cost to the utility’s customers.

Initially, the RNG is expected to pass through to interstate pipelines for use in other states, but CenterPoint Energy ultimately hopes to make RNG available to its customers in Minnesota. CenterPoint Energy is the state’s largest natural gas utility, serving more than 860,000 customers in 260 communities.

‘CenterPoint Energy is committed to pursuing clean energy innovations like RNG,’ said Brad Tutunjian, CenterPoint Energy Vice President-Minnesota Region. ‘RNG has significant potential to reduce greenhouse gas emissions while using our existing natural gas distribution system. By adding RNG to our system, we can diversify our gas supply away from fossil fuels while also benefiting local economies, especially in rural areas.’

When biogas generated from organic waste is refined into RNG, it is interchangeable with conventional natural gas. Known as ‘green gas,’ RNG can provide a double environmental benefit because it offers a productive use for waste methane gas that might otherwise be released directly into the atmosphere and it replaces conventional fossil-fuel natural gas with a renewable resource.

CenterPoint Energy is already in discussions with RNG producers and project developers interested in the opportunity to access the utility’s Minnesota pipeline system.