Zero-net-energy farm project receives $1.2 million CEC grant

By Biodico | May 18, 2016

Biodico Inc. has announced the California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded the sustainable biofuel and bioenergy company a $1.2 million grant for its Zero-Net-Energy Farms project, which would enable agricultural operations to generate all of their power and thermal energy needs from on-site renewable resources, while reducing their greenhouse gas footprints.

The award was granted under the CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge to develop innovative and replicable approaches for accelerating the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AEC) located in economically disadvantaged areas.

Biodico is matching the CEC funds to develop a real-world conceptual design that combines solar cogeneration, wind turbines, anaerobic digestion and gasification at Red Rock Ranch in Five Points, Fresno County, California.

“The Zero Net Energy Farms project leverages Biodico’s proprietary technology to create an energy efficient farm by utilizing economically viable solutions,” said Biodico President and Founder Russ Teall. “Our goal is to establish a template for ranches, farms and other agricultural interests throughout California’s Central Valley and beyond.

“This project comes at a particularly important time as California’s agricultural community searches for more efficient ways to produce, process and store more than 400 food, fiber, flora and fuel crops, not to mention convert biomass into electricity, as biomass power plants continue to close,” Teall added. “Equally important is the water/energy nexus: The production of on-site renewable energy reduces the consumption of water used to produce grid-based utility energy. As California agriculture continues to suffer the impact of water constraints, this has become extremely important.”

Additional benefits of the project include increasing the security, reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid, as well as reducing the cost of expanding capacity to meet California’s swelling population growth.

“There is a great need today for establishing a rational business case for tomorrow’s energy efficient farm,” said JJ Rothgery, chairman of the board at Biodico. “A Zero Net Energy Farm will help diversify power production and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and water to generate electricity. The incorporation of these technologies will also enhance local economic development by providing jobs and an increased tax base.”

The project is slated to commence in June 2016. For a video overview of Biodico, visit http://bit.ly/biodico.