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Bloom Energy delivers renewable power from farm waste

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Bloom Energy has announced a 1 MW fuel cell at a California dairy farm to produce on-site, renewable electricity from manure.

The installation at Bar 20 Dairy Farms in Kerman marks Bloom’s first dairy farm biogas project. To convert manure into renewable electricity, the dairy farm combined a methane digester, gas clean-up skid, and Bloom Energy fuel cells for an end-to-end, waste-to-electricity solution.

The California Bioenergy digesters capture biogas which, after being cleaned in a separation skid, is converted into renewable electricity through an electrochemical process, without combustion, through Bloom’s fuel-flexible, solid oxide fuel cells.

“Finite resources don’t mean finite energy, rather, it means doing smarter things with the resources we have,” said Sharelynn Moore, executive vice-president and chief marketing officer at Bloom Energy.

“Bar 20 Dairy Farms has long understood that the actions they take today will have benefits for years to come for both their industry and for their communities.

“Methane is a potent greenhouse gas with a short lifespan in our atmosphere. This means that capturing and utilising waste methane as a renewable fuel is a powerful way to positively and quickly impact climate change. Bloom Energy is proud to play a part in their journey and demonstrate that fuel cells are a strong part of the low-carbon solution.”

Bloom Energy Servers generate enough electricity to operate the gas clean-up skid and meet the needs of the dairy farm. Excess power is deployed to electric vehicle charging stations across California.

Steve Shehadey, partner at Bar 20 Dairy Farms, commented: “We see ourselves as environmental stewards playing a substantive role in California’s sustainability.

“Through this deployment we can further our efforts to use cost-effective and clean solutions that benefit our farms and our communities, supporting cleaner local air and mitigating the farm’s overall greenhouse gas emissions. We are demonstrating that realistic climate solutions are available and can be deployed today.”