Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) joined Calgren Dairy Fuels, and state and local elected officials to announce the completion of Calgren’s dairy renewable natural gas facility. The project, located in the Central Valley community of Pixley, is the first of its kind in California and is expected to be the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S. later this year.
At the new plant, Calgren collects cow manure (a potent source of greenhouse gas –GHG- emissions) from four local dairy farms and processes it in an anerobic digestor that accelerates the natural decomposition process. Methane emissions from that process are captured and converted to make renewable vehicle fuels. Producing pipeline quality renewable natural gas that is injected into the SoCalGas pipeline system allows Calgren to supply biomethane to existing CNG stations. Ultimately, this also has the potential to be delivered to customers to fuel ultra-low emissions trucks and buses, generate clean electricity, and heat homes and businesses.
Calgren plans to partner with eight additional dairy farms by the end of 2019, which will make the facility the largest dairy biogas project in the nation. During the completion announcement, SoCalGas presented Calgren with a $5 million incentive check authorized by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) to support the development of renewable energy projects.
“As part of our vision to be the cleanest natural gas company in North America, we have committed to replacing 20% of the natural gas we deliver today with renewable natural gas, primarily from organic sources, by 2030,” said Jeff Walker, vice president of customer solutions at SoCalGas. “Renewable natural gas is a ready, reliable and realistic way to reduce GHG emissions and pollution from heavy duty transportation and buildings.”
“Calgren is proud to be the first facility in California to operate a dairy digester pipeline cluster and to work with both the dairies and SoCalGas to mitigate emissions,” said Walt Dwelle, principal owner 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 from entering the atmosphere each year, the equivalent of taking more than 25,000 passenger cars off the road for a year.”