Wisconsin’s largest utility company has received approval to replace some of its natural gas supply with renewable methane from local farms, which could present new opportunities for the burgeoning alternative fuel industry.

The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Thursday to approve WEC Energy Group’s $75 million pilot program intended to help its utilities meet their gas supply needs while reducing greenhouse gas emissions, providing farmers with a new revenue stream and reducing the risk of groundwater contamination.

This new approach will allow digesters to hook up directly to the gas distribution network rather than having to haul pressurized gas to an interstate pipeline portal.

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