ST. PAUL — CenterPoint Energy announced on Friday, April 24, that it was taking another run at providing renewable natural gas service to customers.
On Thursday, the utility filed a proposal with Minnesota regulators to open its pipeline network to gas derived from organic waste sources such as landfills, agricultural manure, wastewater. Capturing greenhouse gasses that those sources would otherwise emit into the air has the potential to reduce pollution, CenterPoint Vice President for Minnesota Brad Tutunjian said in a statement.
"By adding (renewable natural gas) to our system, we can diversify our gas supply away from fossil fuels while also benefiting local economies, especially in rural areas," Tutunjian said Friday.
The state's largest natural gas utility is already in talks with several in-state renewable gas producers and project developers interested in collaborating, according to a company announcement. But CenterPoint would likely deliver renewable gas that passes through its pipelines to customers in other states first, according to the announcement, in hopes of one day making it available to customers in Minnesota.
Renewable natural gas, the company said, is interchangeable with conventional natural gas, and still needs to be refined to meet quality standards. Producers would pay for access to CenterPoint pipelines, the company said, "with no cost to the utility's customers."
The utility previously petitioned the Minnesota Public Utilities Commission to pilot a renewable program in 2018 that would have served customers in the state, but the commission declined to approve the request.