Minnesota Regulators Approve CenterPoint’s Renewable Natural Gas Interconnection Plan
The Minnesota Public Utilities Commission on Nov. 21 granted CenterPoint Energy’s request to offer renewable natural gas, or RNG, interconnection service. The approval establishes a process for producers to inject RNG into the company’s system and creates terms and conditions for the service, including proposed interconnection rates. CenterPoint said that the proposal responds to demand from more than a dozen inquiries from RNG producers regarding interconnection with its Minnesota distribution system.
The company also noted the growing call from its customers and environmental stakeholders to find sustainable solutions for carbon emissions. Commercially available RNG is derived almost entirely from organic waste streams and CenterPoint’s proposed offering is expected to increase the potential for development of RNG resources in the state by making it easier for RNG producers to sell their product to the existing markets. The proposal outlined a tariff detailing the process to apply for interconnection and pricing for the service.
The commission directed CenterPoint to analyze the lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions by interconnecting producers, in order to ensure consistency with tariffs and to assess future investment proposals. In the short term, the RNG added to the system is expected to be used as vehicle fuel.
The company expects that RNG could be transported via an interstate pipeline for a buyer who is not connected to its distribution system. Further, CenterPoint said that the project could drive investment and job creation to aid in the state’s recovery from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.