Three CalBio Dairy Pilot Project Clusters Selected for Development

Neil Black

CalBio will build dairy biomethane clusters in South Tulare, North Visalia, and Buttonwillow

On Monday, December 3, members from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), the California Air Resources Board (CARB), and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) announced that California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio) was awarded funding for 3 Dairy Pilot Projects selected to install dairy digester renewable fuel technology. The announcement is available at http://www.cpuc.ca.gov/renewable_natural_gas/.

The dairy bio-methane pilot program is 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. Legislation adopted in 2016 requires the state to reduce methane emissions from the dairy and other livestock sectors by 40 percent by 2030. Emissions from dairy manure account for approximately 25 percent of the State’s overall methane emissions. The inter-agency committee that selected the projects consisted of representatives from the CPUC, CARB, and CDFA.

CalBio is honored to have been selected to develop these pilot projects which will produce clean, renewable CNG which will significantly lower the carbon intensity of California’s transportation and agriculture sectors” said N. Ross Buckenham, CalBio’s CEO. He added “These projects represent a true public-private partnership. They help to create local jobs and generate a new revenue stream for the dairies, all while helping the state achieve its climate goals.”

The program enables dairies – large and small – to interconnect to a single point of injection to the pipeline.

We are appreciative of SB 1383 and to the CPUC and others who have helped provide the opportunity for the California dairy industry to be leaders in environmental stewardship.” said Cornell Kasbergen, a dairy farmer in South Tulare. “This program solves for the interconnection constraints in our area and enables our dairy and many neighboring dairy families the opportunity to participate.

Jay te Velde, a dairy farmer in North Visalia, expressed, “We are looking forward to participating in the program. As a dairy in an ever-changing regulatory environment, it’s terrific that the state is putting forth these incentives to capture methane with the farmer in mind.

CalBio’s South Tulare, North Visalia, and Buttonwillow clusters were awarded funding which adds to its existing clusters and projects being developed in Bakersfield, Hanford, West Visalia, Fresno and Merced counties. The projects are designed to send conditioned dairy biogas to a centralized upgrading facility where it will be upgraded to renewable natural gas (RNG) and injected into the gas utility pipeline. Once built, CalBio’s dairy-sourced biomethane will be used as a vehicle fuel with a focus on replacing diesel use in heavy-duty trucks, buses, and farm equipment.

“We would like to thank the Selection Committee for entrusting us with the development of these Dairy Pilot Projects” said Neil Black, President of CalBio. “It is our goal to ensure that these dairy clusters are successfully deployed throughout the San Joaquin Valley.”

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