In the United States (US), advanced renewable fuels and biochemicals company Aemetis Inc. has announced that it has initiated the permitting and construction phase of its multi-dairy renewable biomethane digester cluster.
In July 2018, the California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) awarded two matching grants for a total of US$3 million to build biomethane digesters at the first two dairies in the Aemetis Biogas project.
The CDFA grant program provides California state funding support for dairy digester projects to reduce methane emissions, decrease air pollution, improve the environment and lower carbon emissions.
In addition to the on-dairy covered lagoon digesters, Aemetis plans to construct a local pipeline designed to connect about a dozen dairies to the Aemetis biorefinery in Keyes, California, then clean the biomethane for use in ethanol production or for powering compressed renewable natural gas (RNG) vehicles.
The $3 million set of CDFA grants supports the engineering and construction of digesters at two dairies to collect waste dairy biogas. The Aemetis Biogas project is an example of the public and private support created by California’s sincere commitment to stable long-term policies to improve air quality and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including SB 1383, Cap-and-Trade and the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. These programs also demonstrate California’s strong support for the state’s vital dairy industry, stated Eric McAfee, Chairman, and CEO of Aemetis.
The CDFA grant is in addition to the recently announced US$30 million equity financing for the Aemetis Biogas project, of which US$8 million was funded in December 2018 to launch design, engineering, and construction of the initial phase of the project. Preliminary engineering for the initial phase has been completed and permitting is underway.