Anaergia is a global leader in producing clean energy, fertilizer, and recycled water from municipal, industrial, and agricultural waste streams. Today, the company’s technologies are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and generating revenue at more than 1,700 facilities worldwide.
In 2013, Anaergia purchased the Rialto Bioenergy Facility, a mothballed biosolids plant located in Rialto, California, located in a disadvantaged and low-income community. The company hoped to transform the site into the nation’s largest landfill-diverted, organic waste-to-energy facility.
Once operational, every day the plant will convert 700 tons of organic waste and 300 tons of biosolids into fertilizer and nearly 7,000,000 diesel-gallon-equivalents of carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) for use in generating renewable electricity and fuel.
The project serves as a model that wastewater treatment facilities and resource recovery facilities throughout California. Facilities are looking for ways to reduce organic waste in landfills in order to comply with SB 1383, which mandates a 75% reduction in organic waste sent to landfills by 2025.
With the vision in hand, the team looked for ways to finance the $165-million facility.
“We had deployed many of the technologies at locations around the world, but this was the largest scale,” said Yaniv Scherson, Chief Operating Officer at Anaergia. Scherson understood that public funding would be needed to build this facility.
For help navigating the public funding process and communicating the significance of this project, Anaergia turned to Momentum.
“Momentum helped us identify the most appropriate funding opportunities,” said Scherson. “They also provided valuable guidance on how to structure our project for maximum funding.”
Between 2015 and 2020, Momentum helped Anaergia apply for a variety of grants, loans, and other incentives from multiple agencies, including the California Energy Commission, CalRecycle, the US Department of Energy, South Coast Air Quality Management District, and the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority.
To date, Momentum’s efforts have raised $29.2 million in public funds for the Rialto Bioenergy Facility, matched by an additional $134.8 million in private funds.
“Momentum helped us crystallize the value proposition of the Rialto Bioenergy Facility in an understandable format that resonates with key government agencies and industry,” says Scherson. “Momentum has been—and continues to be—critical in getting the message out and developing a rallying call around climate and sustainability.”
Today, the Rialto Bioenergy Facility is the largest landfill diverted organic waste and renewable energy recovery facility in North America. Every year, it reduces net carbon emissions by about 220,000 metric tons—equivalent to taking 47,500 cars off the road.
“Through our work with Momentum, we received a record-breaking number of investments from different state and federal agencies,” says Scherson. “These funds filled the gap. Without them, the facility would not have happened.”
The Momentum team also worked closely with Anaergia’s marketing team to develop powerful marketing and communication assets to further the Rialto Bioenergy Facility story. From high-quality videos and white papers to large-scale events, Momentum’s media experts developed a holistic marketing and communications strategy to help Anaergia reach the world.
“The Rialto Bioenergy Facility reduces GHG emissions, helps achieve California’s waste diversion mandates, and generates carbon-negative fuel and fertilizer—all via a replicable, cost-effective model,” says Scherson. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to transform an industry. Momentum has been—and will continue to be—our close partner in this work.”