Land O’Lakes applauds new clean energy partnership between Chevron, CalBio, California dairy farmers

Announcement builds momentum for farmer-led efforts to create clean, renewable energy

Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN today hailed a recent partnership announced between Chevron, California BioEnergy (CalBio) and California dairy farmers to deploy digesters on dairy farms to create renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG), a clean vehicle fuel. Under the partnership, Chevron funding will bolster R-CNG infrastructure investments while helping bring the fuel to market in California.

“This announcement is a major step forward for an exciting clean energy solution in California that starts on the farm, led by California dairy farmers,” said Matt Carstens, senior vice president of Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN. “As part of one of America’s largest farmer-owned cooperatives, Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN knows the power of farmer-led innovation and the power of partnership. With the right support and collaboration, including through this partnership between Chevron and CalBio, there is incredible potential for farmers to create renewable fuel on the farm, help proactively meet new regulation, and unlock a potential new income source.”

The news builds on a year of collaboration between Land O’Lakes and CalBio under a new effort announced in June 2018 to help farmers overcome barriers to adoption of digesters. CalBio has worked with Land O’Lakes members in California to provide expertise to help install and manage the technology, and Land O’Lakes has supported its members with strategies for deployment – including opportunities to finance projects using cooperative equity through the SUSTAIN Innovation Financing program.

 

 

The project aims to unlock new income streams for farmers by marketing R-CNG for use as a vehicle fuel in California – a key element of the Chevron announcement. It also aims to help farmers meet California state regulations calling for a 40% reduction in manure-related methane emissions from 2013 levels by 2030. In fact, the project has seen support directly from the State of California. In December 2018, a state grant totaling more than $90 million was awarded to CalBio to help expand interconnection pipeline needed for the project.

Carstens said the Chevron-CalBio partnership announcement marks another key momentum boost for the effort, almost exactly a year after Land O’Lakes and CalBio set out to help farmers install and operate digesters in California.

“Last week’s announcement amplifies what we’ve seen from the very beginning: outstanding collaboration from the private and public sectors, and truly world-class leadership from innovative California farmers,” he said.

 

 

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