Four Californian gas suppliers are seeking to promote the State’s renewable natural gas (RNG) industry and clean energy by issuing a draft solicitation for dairy biomethane pilot projects under California Senate Bill (SB) 1383. Proposed projects must demonstrate an ability to capture and process biogas from dairy cows to produce renewable natural gas, which can replace traditionally sourced natural gas for fueling vehicles and other energy requirements.
Proposed jointly by Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas), San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) and Southwest Gas, the solicitation calls for at least five projects will be selected. It is the first step in a new program created under SB 1383 by the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC), which has been directed to reduce methane emissions from agriculture in the state by 2030.
“This is an exciting first step to building the market for renewable natural gas,” said Lisa Alexander, vice president of customer solutions and communications for SoCalGas. “Renewable natural gas, with its ability to turn methane emissions into a source of energy, is a critical element of a comprehensive approach to climate change, and we look forward to supporting these efforts.”
“We remain committed to playing a key role in California’s emissions reductions effort and clean energy future. The capturing, transformation and utilization of methane emissions as a clean fuel source will have significant environmental benefits,” said PG&E Gas Operations Senior Director, Christine Cowsert.
Proposed projects will be selected by the CPUC, California Air Resources Board and the California Department of Food and Agriculture. The agencies will jointly choose projects based on an evaluation of the proposed business model, likely greenhouse gas reductions realized, and cost effectiveness of achieving these reductions, environmental benefits, disadvantaged community benefits and project readiness.
Dairy biogas development is rapidly increasing in California, with help in part from $35 million in grant funding last year from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA). CDFA is expected to provide an additional $61-$75 million in grant funding for new dairy biogas projects this year. There are currently about 40 projects in the works, and experts expect there could be as many as 120 projects being developed by 2022.
SoCalGas and Southwest Gas are members of NGVAmerica.
Source: Southern California Gas Company