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Work begins on biogas plant despite opposition

In Tulare County, California, US, the Pixley Biogas plant has been awarded a $4.67 million (€3.2 million) grant from the California Energy Commission.

The project is yet to receive approval from Tulare County, however the grant was awarded to kick-start development on aspects of the project that do not involve the environment.

If the project is approved, an anaerobic digester will be erected near to Calgren Renewable Fuels' ethanol production facility. The biogas plant will generate electricity from manure collected from nearby dairy operations, which will be used to power the Calgren ethanol plant.

And in addition to not yet having gained permission to build the plant, the project is also facing opposition from California Dairies, 3 R Land and Development, and Pixley Town Council. These opposing parties are most concerned about odour and environmental issues.

However, as Chris Voell, national programme manager, explains: 'Odour associated with manure digester systems are substantially less than those from traditional manure management storage and land application practices.'