The information below has been supplied by dairy marketers and other industry organizations. It has not been edited, verified or endorsed by Hoard’s Dairyman.
The award was presented by CMAB during the 3rd California Dairy Sustainability Summit, in partnership with the California Dairy Research Foundation (CDRF) and California Dairy Quality Assurance Program (CDQAP). The Calgren project was the first in California to upgrade dairy biogas for utility pipeline injection and the largest collective dairy biogas operation in the U.S.15 California family dairy farms are participating in the first phase of the project, which makes compressed natural gas available as fuel for heavy duty trucks, replacing diesel – effectively removing 150,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) greenhouse gases from the environment and displacing more than 23 million gallons of fossil fuel-based transportation fuel annually.
“Projects like the Calgren Dairy Fuels cluster project demonstrate how powerful partnerships can be in moving the needle on our sustainability goals as an industry. We’re very proud of the efforts of Calgren Dairy Fuels, Maas Energy, and the California dairy farm families who have made tremendous progress in reducing their environmental footprint through planet-smart farming practices,” said John Talbot, CEO of the CMAB.
“We congratulate Calgren Dairy Fuels, Mass Energy Works and their dairy farm partners in the development of this tremendous project and receipt of this award. Their project truly highlights the environmental sustainability progress and benefits that can be achieved through cross sector partnerships. It assists the dairy industry as well as the state in meeting challenging methane reduction targets,” said Denise Mullinax, Executive Director, California Dairy Research Foundation. “We look forward to additional innovative projects as California continues to lead the nation in sustainable dairy production.”
Calgren Dairy Fuels’ 22-plus miles of underground pipeline link 12 dairies that send biogas from on-farm digesters – and two additional dairies that haul biomethane via tube trailers – to its centralized conditioning facility in Pixley, Calif. An additional dairy supplies manure slurry to a digester at the Calgren conditioning facility for biogas production. After upgrading this dairy biogas, Calgren injects it into a utility pipeline owned by SoCalGas – the nation’s largest natural gas distribution utility. This dairy-sourced renewable compressed natural gas (R-CNG) is made available as fuel for heavy duty trucks, replacing 3 million gallons of existing fossil-fuel diesel with near-zero emissions from CNG engines.
Each year, 150,000 tons of (CO2e) greenhouse gasses are captured from more than 70,000 cows and heifers. Additionally, more than 75 full-time equivalent jobs have been supported, and more than 18 miles of additional pipeline are under construction to double the number of dairies in the cluster.
“We appreciate the recognition and support for this dairy cluster project that is not only letting us back out of fossil fuel but also avoid methane that would otherwise end up in the atmosphere.” said Lyle Schlyer, president of Calgren Renewable Fuels. “We’re bringing our 16th cluster connected dairy online with several more right around the corner. We are also injecting trucked biomethane from an additional three dairies, with more trucked projects to come online.”
California is the nation’s leading milk producer, and makes more butter, ice cream and nonfat dry milk than any other state. California is the second-largest producer of cheese and yogurt. California milk and dairy foods can be identified by the Real California Milk seal, which certifies they are made with milk from the state’s dairy farm families.