In the United States (US), California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and local dairy farmers have recently announced that their joint venture, CalBioGas West Visalia LLC has successfully achieved the first renewable natural gas (RNG) production and sales from its dairy farms in Tulare County. The milestone underpins the partners’ commitment to provide affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy to California (CA) consumers.
According to a statement, the first production and sales of RNG in Tulare County were achieved on October 13, 2020, and follows on the heels of the joint venture’s launch of the CalBioGas Kern LLC project in August 2020.
An additional third large joint venture project is expected to come online in Kings County in early 2021. These projects underpin the partners’ commitment to providing affordable, reliable, and ever- cleaner energy to California consumers.
CalBio brings technology and operational experience to help build digesters and methane capture projects to convert this methane to beneficial use as RNG. CalBio, dairy farmers, and Chevron are providing funding for digester projects across three geographic clusters in Tulare, Kern, and Kings counties. As they are completed, these projects will mitigate the dairies’ methane emissions and reduce greenhouse (GHG) emissions from livestock.
RNG for transportation
The dairy biomethane projects are designed to send dairy biogas to a centralized processing facility where it is upgraded to biomethane (aka RNG) and injected into local utility SoCalGas’ pipeline. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses.
Each of these systems is centered around a geographic cluster of dairies where it is economical to harvest the fugitive methane emissions gather it to a central location where it is purified, injected into the utility gas line, and delivered to fueling stations throughout California for use as a renewable fuel alternative to diesel.
The project is the result of efforts of a remarkable range of stakeholders, including the California Department of Food and Agriculture and the California Public Utility Commission. CalBio is also 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 reduce greenhouse gases, reduce fossil fuel use, clean the air, reduce odor, protect water, create jobs, help fund internships at local universities, and provide numerous other community benefits, said N. Ross Buckenham, CEO, CalBio.
With other recent Chevron announcements – such as the Adopt-a-Port initiative with Clean Energy Fuels and the Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC joint venture– this milestone further demonstrates the company’s action areas to increase renewables in support of its business and invest in lower-carbon technologies.
We are excited to see our partnership achieve another milestone as we continue to deliver affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy to California drivers. Increasing renewables in support of our business are foundational to our energy transition efforts and making targeted investments and establishing partnerships like CalBio LLC strengthens our foothold and reinforces our commitment to leading in the RNG space, said Andy Walz, President, Chevron Americas Products.