In mid-December, dairy-derived RNG from Maas Energy’s facilities in Merced began flowing into Pacific Gas and Electric Company’s (PG&E) gas transmission system.
The project was primarily funded through the California Public Utilities Commission’s Dairy Biomethane Pilot Program, established as part of the state’s strategy to reduce emissions of short-lived climate pollutants.
Approximately 55% of California’s methane emissions come from dairies and livestock, according to data from the California Air Resources Board.
The project produces RNG (biomethane) by capturing methane at the source from 15 dairy farm partners in Merced County. From there, pipeline-ready RNG is transported to PG&E’s gas system via the California Energy Exchange’s (CEE) pipeline, where it is introduced at a receiver station near Panoche.
“Our work with Maas Energy and CEE has enabled years of research and development to reach implementation,” said Chris DiGiovanni, director of wholesale marketing and business development for PG&E.
“Together, in partnership with the dairies, we’re able to take greenhouse gas emissions out of the atmosphere and, in turn, provide clean renewable gas to PG&E’s residential and business customers, including the transportation industry.
“PG&E was an early supporter of California’s state-wide goal to reduce methane emissions to 40% below 2015 levels by 2030, and projects like this are key steps toward this effort.”
The private pipeline operated by CEE enables remote dairies with the infrastructure to connect an economically viable source of renewable energy to the PG&E pipeline system. Historically, access and a lack of cost-effective alternatives to transport RNG to the system hindered otherwise viable partnerships with dairies.
Daryl Maas, CEO of Maas Energy, commented: “Maas Energy Works, and our 15 dairy family partners, are grateful to PG&E for delivering our clean cow gas to the market.
“Merced County is the nation’s second-largest dairy county and we expect this project will make Merced a leading producer of renewable transportation fuels as well.”