Calgren Dairy Fuels and Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) announced that four additional Central Valley dairies have started sending methane produced from cow manure to Calgren’s biogas operation in Pixley, where it is processed into high-quality, renewable natural gas and injected into SoCalGas’ system. The Calgren facility now collects methane, a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) that would otherwise escape to the atmosphere, from more than 66,000 cows at 10 area dairy farms. The additional dairies are projected to nearly double the amount of biogas produced at the plant, further reducing GHG emissions. Calgren partnered with Maas Energy Works to develop these four new dairy digesters as well as the previous six dairy digesters that have been operating since 2018.
“Over the last five years, renewable natural gas use in the transportation sector has grown by almost 600%,” said Sharon Tomkins, SoCalGas vice president and chief environmental officer. “We’re looking to build on that success by delivering more renewable energy options to our customers, including renewable natural gas produced at farms, hydrogen made from surplus solar energy, and advanced fuel cell systems that can provide energy in extreme weather events. Each of these technologies will be essential to meeting California’s ambitious climate goals affordably.”
“Calgren is leading efforts in California on this front, working with both dairies and SoCalGas to mitigate emissions,” said Lyle Schlyer, president of Calgren Renewable Fuels. “This facility alone will eventually capture methane produced from the manure of more than 75,000 cows, preventing about 130,000 tons of GHG emissions from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road annually.”
The biomethane produced at Calgren’s facility today is used as a carbon-negative fuel for heavy-duty vehicles like transit buses and long-haul trucks. It can also be delivered to customers to generate clean electricity and heat homes and businesses.
Biomethane is already helping eliminate emissions from trucks and buses. Over the last five years, its use as a transportation fuel has increased 577%, helping displace over seven million tons of CO2 equivalent (how GHG emissions are measured), which is equal to the emissions from more than a million homes’ electricity use for one year.