Vanguard Renewables, a U.S. leader in organics-to-renewable energy, announced that a fund managed by BlackRock Real Assets has acquired the company from Vision Ridge Partners. BlackRock Real Assets will partner with Vanguard Renewables’ management team to build upon the company’s market-leading track record and drive its next phase of growth, including its plans to commission more than 100 anaerobic digesters to produce renewable natural gas across the country by 2026. Since its founding by John Hanselman and Kevin Chase in 2014, Vanguard Renewables has been changing the perception of U.S. food waste and how that waste can be recycled into renewable energy to benefit the planet. The company mitigates greenhouse gas emissions from food waste and cow manure through two distinct business lines: Vanguard Organics and Vanguard Ag. Vanguard Organics’ Farm Powered® anaerobic codigestion process converts inedible food and beverage waste and dairy manure into renewable natural gas and liquid low-carbon fertilizer. Vanguard Ag, developed in partnership with Dominion Energy in 2019, converts manure into renewable natural gas. This multi-year partnership is essential to Vanguard Ag’s growth and Dominion Energy’s commitment to further its ESG goals via significant investments in renewable natural gas projects.
“We are pleased to invest in Vanguard Renewables, a leading producer of renewable natural gas from agriculture and organic food waste in the U.S., supported by long-term contracts,” said Mark Florian, Head of Diversified Infrastructure, BlackRock Real Assets. “Renewable natural gas is an attractive and fast-growing market that provides decarbonization solutions for both the provider of the waste, as well as the natural gas consumer. We look forward to partnering with Vanguard Renewables’ experienced management team to support the company’s strong growth momentum.”
Neil H. Smith, Chief Executive Officer at Vanguard Renewables, added, “Today is the beginning of an exciting next chapter for Vanguard Renewables as we scale our Farm Powered® program across the nation. We are thankful for the steadfast support of Vision Ridge over the past eight years and look forward to our new partnership with BlackRock Real Assets, one of the world’s most forward-thinking and environmentally-focused investors, as we continue to develop solutions to protect our planet.”
“Since our investment in Vanguard Renewables in 2014, we have worked closely with Neil, John, Kevin, and the entire team to enable them to grow the company from its modest beginnings into the national leader in the development of organics-to-renewable energy projects,” commented George Polk, partner at Vision Ridge Partners. “We are proud to have helped build Vanguard Renewables into an unmatched RNG platform pioneering a decarbonizing pathway in the U.S. while generating strong returns for Vision Ridge investors, and are pleased to transition ownership to a likeminded investor, BlackRock Real Assets.”
John Hanselman, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer at Vanguard Renewables, concluded, “I am immensely proud to have helped build a company from the ground up into a national organic waste-to-renewable energy leader. Vanguard Renewables’ mission has always been to help America realize a future where waste is a resource for renewable energy generation and regenerative agriculture practice.”