California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), Visalia, Calif., received funding from the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), San Francisco; the California Air Resources Board (CARB), Sacramento, Calif.; and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA), Sacramento, Calif., for three dairy pilot projects selected to install dairy digester renewable fuel technology.

The dairy bio-methane pilot program is part of the state’s strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants, including methane. Legislation adopted in 2016 requires the state to reduce methane emissions from the dairy and other livestock sectors by 40% by 2030.

"CalBio is honored to have been selected to develop these pilot projects, which will produce clean, renewable CNG [that] will significantly lower the carbon intensity of California’s transportation and agriculture sectors,” says N. Ross Buckenham, chief executive officer of CalBio. “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 to interconnect to a single point of injection to the pipeline.

CalBio’s South Tulare, North Visalia, and Buttonwillow, Calif., clusters received funding for projects being developed in Bakersfield, Hanford, West Visalia, Fresno and Merced, Calif., 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 bio-methane 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,” says Neil Black, president of CalBio. "It is our goal to ensure that these dairy clusters are successfully deployed throughout the San Joaquin Valley.”

This critical infrastructure component builds on the Land O’Lakes SUSTAIN and CalBio collaboration to support the financing, installation and management of on-farm digesters to produce R-CNG.