Newlight Technologies Inc. is continuing its growth beyond its current home in California with the help of funding from the North Dakota Industrial Commission to help finance a plant there to produce its AirCarbon methane-based biomaterial.
The announcement from the commission adds to a previously-announced expansion for Huntington Beach, Calif.-based Newlight to build a site in Hannibal, Ohio.
The project is one of three projects awarded a total of $15 million in grants, all focused on reducing environmental impacts and increasing energy efficiency.
The North Dakota commission’s three members approved the proposals put forward by the Clean Sustainable Energy Authority, the administrator of the Clean Sustainable Energy Program. The CSEA was established in 2021 to support the development and commercialization of projects, processes, activities and technologies that reduce environmental impacts and increase the sustainability of energy production and delivery.
A clear goal of the North Dakota program is to attract industries that not only productively utilize its energy resources but also contribute to reducing gas waste in the form of flaring and venting. Already, since the program’s inception, three grant rounds have been held, in which a total of $250 million in loans, $20 million in hydrogen grants from federal dollars and $24.3 million in state grants have been awarded.
Other projects awarded grants are Liberty H2 Hub, an effort led by the University of North Dakota's Energy and Environmental Research Center to develop large-scale facilities for low-carbon hydrogen development and which was awarded $10 million for engineering and design work; and Denver-based Enerplus Corp. which has been granted $1.1 million for geothermal power generation for oil and gas production.
Newlight says the project fulfills the goals of the CSEA by using methane gas or C02 for the production of its AirCarbon PHA, a natural, biodegradable material that is a viable alternative to single-use plastic.
AirCarbon is produced by ocean-based micro-organisms that consume carbon in the form of methane or CO2. It degrades more easily because microorganisms in the environment recognize it as a natural food source.
Newlight will be working in close cooperation with its longtime partner Incoho Consulting Group on the realization of the project.