The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), California Air Resources Board (CARB), and California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) have announced funding for six pilot projects in the San Joaquin and Sacramento valleys designed to demonstrate the collection of biomethane from dairy digesters and injection into natural gas pipelines.
The production of biomethane from organic waste products, including animal manure, eliminates significant emissions of methane into the atmosphere, the state agencies explain.
The selected project locations and developers are as follows:
1. South Tulare: California Bioenergy
2. North Visalia: California Bioenergy
3. Buttonwillow: California Bioenergy
4. Merced (CEE): Maas Energy Works
5. Lakeside: Maas Energy Works
6. Weststeyn: DVO Inc.
Forty-five dairies will participate in the pilot projects, which are expected to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from animal manure by putting dairy methane waste to beneficial use as a renewable transportation fuel. The six projects will receive approximately $319 million in infrastructure investments and operation expenses over the next 20 years.
The CPUC created the dairy biomethane pilot program as part of the state’s strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane, which is 28 times more potent than carbon dioxide, the agencies say.
Legislation adopted in 2016 requires the state to reduce methane emissions from the
dairy and other livestock sectors 40% by 2030. Emissions from dairy manure account for approximately 25% of the state’s overall methane emissions, according to the agencies.
The interagency committee that selected the projects consisted of representatives from CPUC, CARB and CDFA.
“The pilots chosen will provide us with valuable information about the interconnection process and hopefully facilitate other biomethane projects,” says Clifford Rechtschaffen, CPUC commissioner.
The dairy biomethane projects were mandated in S.B.1383, and the program was implemented in a CPUC decision last December.