Dayton may sell biogas from wastewater plant for millions in ‘royalties’

Dayton potentially could rake in millions of dollars in the next two decades by selling biogas to an energy company with a local presence.

The project also will offset about 50% of emissions at city facilities, city staff said.

The city proposes entering into a 20-year contract with Pinnacle Gas Producers LLC to sell gas byproduct from its wastewater treatment plant.

Millions of cubic feet of biogas is produced at the plant every year, and city officials say a significant share of that is burned and essentially wasted as part of a process called flaring.

Pinnacle Gas Producers, a subsidiary of DTE Biomass Energy, proposes installing pipeline infrastructure at the wastewater treatment plant to transport the biogas to its facility to clean and sell.

Under the proposed agreement, Dayton would receive around $1.3 million annually — or about $26 million over 20 years — from the company in “royalties.”

The net revenue to the city is expected to be $800,000 per year, or $16 million over the life of the contract, because of anticipated heating costs at the plant, says a memo from Meg Maloney, Dayton’s sustainability manager.

City officials in the past have said a project like this will generate revenue for the water department while helping the city with its green initiatives and sustainability goals.

The proposal is headed to the Dayton City Commission for consideration.

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