California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), Chevron U.S.A. Inc. and local dairy farmers recently announced that their joint venture, CalBioGas LLC, successfully achieved the first renewable natural gas (RNG) production from dairy farms in Kern County, Cal. The milestone underpins the partners’ commitment to provide affordable, reliable and ever-cleaner energy to California consumers.
Manure storage on dairy farms results in the release of methane. CalBio brings technology and operational experience to help build digesters and methane capture projects to convert this methane to a beneficial use as RNG. CalBio, dairy farmers and Chevron are providing funding for digester projects across three geographic clusters in Kern, Tulare and Kings counties in California. As they are completed, these projects will mitigate the dairies’ methane emissions and reduce greenhouse emissions from livestock.
The dairy biomethane projects are designed to send dairy biogas to a centralized processing facility, where it will be upgraded to RNG and injected into the pipeline of local utility SoCalGas. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses.
CalBio chief executive officer N. Ross Buckenham said, “The project is the result of efforts of a remarkable range of stakeholders, including the California Department of Food & Agriculture, the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utility Commission. CalBio also is honored to be supported by a group of California’s dairy farmers, Farm Credit West and Chevron, California’s largest energy company. These projects bring so many win-wins: They help create local jobs, improve local air quality by producing renewable natural gas for use in low-[nitrogen oxide] emission fleets and reduce dairy methane emissions.”
With other recent Chevron announcements – such as the Adopt-a-Port initiative with Clean Energy Fuels – the company said this milestone further demonstrates its action areas to increase renewables in support of its business and to invest in lower-carbon technologies.
“This is an exciting milestone that speaks to the capabilities and can-do attitude of our partners, CalBio and dairy farmers, to bring this RNG to the California vehicle fuels market,” Chevron Americas Products president Andy Walz said. “Chevron is increasing RNG in support of our business and is making targeted investments and establishing partnerships as we evaluate many emerging sources of energy and the role they will play in our portfolio. And, as a proud California company, we are pleased that local communities in the state will benefit from this investment.”