November 15, 2020. California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio), Chevron U.S.A. Inc., and local dairy farmers announced their joint venture, CalBioGas West Visalia LLC, successfully achieved first renewable natural gas (RNG) production and sales from its dairy farms in Tulare County on October 13, 2020. This milestone follows closely on the heels of the joint venture’s successful launch of their CalBioGas Kern LLC project in August. 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.
Manure storage on dairy farms results in the release of methane, a greenhouse gas. 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 emissions from livestock.
The dairy biomethane projects are designed to send dairy biogas to a centralized processing facility where it is upgraded to RNG and injected into local utility SoCalGas’ pipeline. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses.
“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,” said N. Ross Buckenham, CalBio’s CEO. “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”
“We are excited to see our partnership achieve another milestone as we continue to deliver affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy to California drivers,” said Andy Walz, president, Chevron Americas Products. “Increasing renewables in support of our business is 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.”