Anaergia is a global leader in the production of clean energy, fertilizer, and recycled water from municipal, industrial, and agricultural waste streams. Today, the company’s integrated solutions and breakthrough technologies are reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and generating revenue at more than 1,700 resource recovery facilities worldwide, at sites in North America, Europe, Africa, and Asia.
In 2013, Anaergia purchased the Rialto Bioenergy Facility, a mothballed biosolids plant located in Rialto, California, an area categorized as both 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. When operational, the plant will convert 700 tons per day of landfill-diverted organic waste and 300 tons per day of biosolids from surrounding municipalities into fertilizer and nearly 7,000,000 diesel-gallon-equivalents of carbon-negative renewable natural gas (RNG) for use in generating renewable electricity and as transportation fuel.
The project serves as a model that wastewater treatment facilities and resource recovery facilities throughout California can emulate in their own efforts to comply with SB 1383, which mandates a 75% reduction in organic waste sent to landfills by 2025.
Financing the $165-million facility was challenging “We had deployed many of the technologies at locations around the world, but this was the largest scale,” said Yaniv Scherson, Managing Director at Anaergia. Scherson understood that public funding would be necessary to defray capital costs and enable commercialization of novel systems.
For helping navigating the public funding process and communicating the significance of this groundbreaking 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 fundability.”
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 powerfully 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.”
When construction ends in 2020, the Rialto Bioenergy Facility will be the largest landfill diverted organic waste and renewable energy recovery facility in North America. Every year, it will reduce net carbon emissions by approximately 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 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 that other facilities throughout the state can adopt,” 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.”