Kwik Trip Partners on Biogas Project

Trash and cow manure to help generate natural gas for retailer’s CNG sites
Photograph: Shutterstock

La CROSSE, Wis.  Kwik Trip will offer compressed natural gas (CNG) processed from biogas generated by a landfill and cows, thanks to a new partnership.

Dane County in Wisconsin is completing a landfill biogas project that will transform garbage and cow manure into compressed natural gas, which Kwik Trip will then acquire and dispense at its sites that sell CNG. Kwik Trip Inc., La Crosse, Wis., began selling CNG in 2012 and today has 35 locations that sell the alternative fuel, including 19 in Wisconsin. Eighty percent of Kwik Trip’s own distribution fleet, Convenience Transportation, is composed of natural gas-powered vehicles.

Biogas, which is about 50% methane, forms as garbage degrades. Methane is the main component of natural gas and is also a potent greenhouse gas. By converting the landfill’s biogas to natural gas for transportation, the county would eliminate thousands of tons of carbon emissions. In its first year of operation, the biogas project would also displace 3 million gallons of fossil fuels, and up to 4 million gallons per year in the long term. This represents the equivalent of taking 4,800 vehicles off the road, according to Dane County, which also expects to generate enough revenue from the biogas project to pay for its $28 million investment within a few years.

To sell the biogas-based CNG, Dane County is partnering with Bluesource, a company that connects businesses to monetize renewable energy. Kwik Trip will purchase the biogas-based CNG from Bluesource.

“Our project at the landfill will be a win for clean air as well as Dane County taxpayers,” said Joe Parisi, Dane County executive. “Dane County’s partnership with Kwik Trip will enable our region to reap the benefits of the renewable fuel generated at the landfill.”

“Kwik Trip is proud to partner with Dane County and Bluesource on this progressive, innovative and collaborative sustainability initiative involving the transformation of the County’s landfill biogas into the development of renewable natural gas,” said David Ring, community relations manager for Kwik Trip. “We view this as a win-win partnership that will allow us to provide a cleaner fuel source for our customers and create a significant benefit for the environment in the form of reduced carbon emissions. This partnership makes a positive difference in the communities we serve and fits well with Kwik Trip’s other integrated sustainability initiatives.”

The Dane County facility will also have an offloading station so that other biogas producers, such as cow manure digesters, can inject their gas into the pipeline. The project is said to be the first in the United States to receive biogas from multiple off-site locations and distribute it to CNG fueling sites.

Kwik Trip is a family-owned convenience-store chain operating more than 600 locations in Wisconsin and Minnesota (under the Kwik Trip banner) and Iowa (under the Kwik Star banner). The chain ranks No. 13 in CSP’s list of the largest c-store chains in the United States.

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