California funds 5 dairy digester projects

By Erin Voegele | July 16, 2015

The California Department of Food and Agriculture has awarded $11.1 million to support five anaerobic digestion (AD) projects at dairy operations around the state. The projects will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from dairy manure.

According to the department, the funding comes from the state’s cap-and-trade program. Through the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, CDFA and other state agencies are investing cap-and-trade auction proceeds in projects that reduce GHG emissions will providing a variety of additional benefits to California communities. Recipients of the grants will provide an estimated $18.9 million in matching funds for the development of the digester facilities.

“These projects demonstrate a commitment by California to support efforts by dairy farmers to fight climate change by reducing greenhouse gases from the agriculture sector,” said CDFA Secretary Karen Ross. “This is definitely a win-win for agriculture: cutting methane emissions and improving the environment while also generating revenue from renewable bioenergy.”

The five projects selected to receive funding include:

Philip Verwey Farms—$3 million
The proposed Verwey-Hanford Diary Digester project will include a new covered lagoon digester at Philip Verwey Farms #2 dairy in Hanford. Biogas produced at the facility will be used to produce approximately 7.6 million kWh of electricity annually.

Open Sky Ranch Inc.—$973,430
The Open Sky Ranch Dairy Digester project aims to recommission a covered lagoon digester at Open Sky Ranch in Riverdale. Biogas produced at the facility will be used to produce an estimated 6.4 million kWh of electricity each year.

Philip Verwey Farms—$2.28 million
The Verwey-Madera Dairy Digester project will include a new covered lagoon digester to be installed at Philip Verway Farms #1 in Madera. Biogas produced at the facility will be used to generate approximately 4.6 million kWh of electricity per year.

AgPower Visalia LLC—$3 million
The Moonlight Dairy Digester project will feature a DVO mixed-plug flow digester to treat manure in Visalia. Biogas produced at the facility will be used to produce about 6 million kWh of electricity annually.

ABEC #2 LLC dba West-Star North Dairy Biogas—$1.84 million
The West-Star North Dairy digester project in Buttonwillow will capture biogas from two covered lagoons at the dairy, producing 7.6 million kWh per year of electricity. Additional biogas will be stored under flexible covers installed on the lagoons.