Aemetis Inc., a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable fuels company, says by a unanimous vote the Stanislaus County, Calif., board of supervisors accepted and approved the Aemetis Biogas Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration for construction of a 32-mile extension to the existing Aemetis Biogas four-mile private pipeline that was completed in 2020.
The pipeline is designed to carry biogas from dairies as part of the Aemetis Central Dairy Digester Project, which is planned to span across the Stanislaus and Merced counties in central California. The approval is necessary to meet the permitting requirements of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) prior to pipeline construction and confirms that mitigation measures in the proposed project will avoid or mitigate any impacts on the environment.
“Receiving CEQA approval for our pipeline project is a significant milestone for the Aemetis Biogas RNG project and puts us on a solid path to begin construction of the pipeline extension,” says Eric McAfee, chairman and CEO of Aemetis Inc. “After the dairy biogas is upgraded to RNG by the gas cleanup unit at the Keyes plant, we expect to have multiple alternatives to generate revenues from Low Carbon Fuel Standard (LCFS) and Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) credits. We plan on using the RNG to fuel trucks by dispensing RNG at the renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) fueling station we are building at the Keyes plant.”
The Aemetis Biogas Central Dairy Digester Project is a collection of dairy lagoon anaerobic digesters that are being built, owned and operated by Aemetis Biogas LLC, utilizing waste animal manure to generate renewable methane gas to produce RNG. About 25% of the methane emissions in California are emitted from dairy waste lagoons – California Senate Bill 1383 provides grant funding and mandates for the capture of methane by dairies.
In Q4 2020, Aemetis Biogas began operating the first two digesters and the initial four-mile pipeline in the RNG project. The company plans to begin construction of the next five dairy digesters and the additional 32 miles of biogas pipeline in Q2, with five more dairy digesters set to begin construction in Q3 and five digesters beginning in Q1 2022 – for a planned total of 17 dairy digesters and a 36-mile pipeline in operation by Q2 2022.