Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) and biogas producer Calgren Dairy Fuels (Calgren) announced that renewable natural gas produced at Calgren’s dairy digester facility in Pixley, California is being injected into SoCalGas pipelines. The project marks the first time that carbon-negative renewable natural gas produced from cow manure has been injected directly into SoCalGas’ natural gas system. In August 2018, SoCalGas began receiving renewable natural gas into its system from CR&R, Inc.’s anaerobic digestion facility in Perris, California. The renewable natural gas from that digestion facility is already being used to fuel about 400 waste hauling trucks.
“Developing renewable natural gas is a smart and cost-effective solution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation and building sectors,” said Sharon Tomkins SoCalGas vice president for customer solutions and strategy. “Replacing just 16 to 20% of our traditional natural gas with renewable natural gas would reduce emissions equal to electrifying 100% of buildings in the state, but it would be two to three times more cost-effective. Moreover, the renewable natural gas solution does not require expensive appliance changeouts or costly new mandates.”
Lyle Schlyer, Calgren’s President, added: “The benefits of this partnership between dairy farmers, private industry and SoCalGas are numerous. We produce clean renewable natural gas for use as a carbon-negative fuel which benefits the local community through cleaner air and jobs.”
Calgren’s facility, known as a dairy digester pipeline cluster, will collect biogas from anaerobic digesters at 12 Tulare County dairies then clean it to produce pipeline-quality renewable natural gas. This is the first such dairy digester pipeline cluster in California and is expected to be the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S. when Calgren adds 9 additional dairies later this year. The facility will capture the methane produced from the manure of more than 75,000 cows, preventing about 130,000 tons of greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road for a year.
SoCalGas will be capable of adding up to 2.26 billion cubic feet of renewable natural gas each year to its pipeline system from the facility, enough to fuel more than 1,200 Class 8 heavy duty trucks.
Moreover, SoCalGas participated in the World Agricultural Expo in Tulare. The theme for this year’s SoCalGas display was “Clean, Renewable and Affordable” and highlighted the important role natural gas plays in California’s clean energy future. Visitors to the company’s booth learnt about the benefits of natural gas by taking the “SoCalGas Challenge” – a series of five stations each highlighting the value of natural gas. The stations include information on residential energy efficiency programs, business energy efficiency programs, customer assistance programs, natural gas vehicles and renewable energy. A near-zero 12-liter heavy-duty natural gas truck was also part of the SoCalGas display.