SJI breaks ground on transformative Linden Renewable Energy project

Utility will partner with Captona, RNG Energy Solutions on largest food waste-to-renewable natural gas facility in U.S.

One of the more intriguing renewable energy projects in the state — one in which South Jersey Industries and its partners will create one of the largest food waste-to-renewable natural gas facilities in the U.S. — had a ceremonial groundbreaking Tuesday morning in Linden.

For SJI, along with its Captona and RNG Energy Solutions, the day marks another step forward on the Linden Renewable Energy project, a transformative effort that will convert organic waste into bio-methane using proven anerobic digestion technology in the metropolitan area. The bio-methane will then be upgraded to pipeline-quality natural gas for injection into the Elizabethtown Gas system next to the site.

Construction on the facility, which began in January, is slated to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2025. When complete, the facility will convert up to 1,475 tons of waste to produce up to 3,783 million Btu/day of RNG — this is the energy equivalent value of 30,200 gallons of gasoline per day.

The groundbreaking ceremony.

SJI CEO Mike Renna said the potential impact of the project is huge.

“SJI is incredibly proud to break ground on one of the nation’s largest food waste-to-renewable natural gas facilities in the United States,” he said. “This project is an important reminder about the critical role that our state’s natural gas utilities and natural gas infrastructure will play in our energy transition.

“From the creation of hundreds of jobs, the potential to reduce greenhouse gases, and the use of innovative technology, this project is another example of how SJI is leading the way toward a cleaner energy future.”

The project also provides additional advantages, offering New York City, northern New Jersey and the broader metro region an opportunity to manage organic waste streams to comply with state and local food waste regulations that require organic waste to be diverted from landfills.

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For more information about the Linden Renewable Energy project, click here.

Landfills represent a third of human-made methane emissions in the U.S. By diverting organic waste from landfills, LRE is anticipated to avoid an estimated 120,000 metric tons of CO2e annually when working at full capacity.

Izzet Bensusan, the founder and managing partner of Captona, said his group is excited.

“Captona is proud to be a partner in this landmark food waste-to-RNG facility in the New York and New Jersey region,” he said. “This groundbreaking represents a significant step in the continued growth of our Energy Transition Infrastructure portfolio of fuel cell, RNG, solar and storage projects.

“By putting the region’s food waste to productive use, this project not only reduces emissions but also offers an important waste management solution.”