Breathing Life Back Into The Digester Market
New Hope Digester Finds New Owner & Design
Arlan Van Leeuwen and Arlin Van Groningen were early adopters of digester technology. In 2012, they agreed to host a digester at their New Hope Dairy to deliver power to SMUD, the Sacramento power utility. But after a few years, that facility was shut down by the original owner, another California biogas developer. However, “the Arlins” weren’t giving up yet.
There were two successful Maas Energy Works digesters operating at nearby dairies owned by Case Van Steyn and Leo & Peter Van Warmerdam. So , after being neighbors for years, Arlan and Arlin decided to team up with Maas Energy Works to restart the New Hope digester project. Maas Energy Works proposed to purchase the facility, install a new covered lagoon digester, refurbish the generating equipment, improve manure processing, and restart the project in cooperation with New Hope Dairy.
The project successfully restarted with only private funding and no government grants. Since July, the project has resumed selling renewable power from its 450-kW generator, refurbished in Maas Motor Works’ Redding, CA workshop. The project uses the new covered lagoon digester to store gas during off-peak periods of power, and then runs the refurbished engine on the stored biogas to sell power when local Sacramento utility SMUD’s demand is highest.
Arlan and Arlin are once again in the energy business, receiving multiple revenue streams from their cows.
Calgren Dairy Fuels: Can't Stop, Won't Stop
In other news, the Calgren Dairy Fuels digester pipeline cluster has been successfully injecting Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) into the SoCalGas utility pipeline for the last 6+ months.
In the past quarter, three more dairies have begun delivering their cow gas.
Vander Poel Dairy
Sousa & Sousa Dairy
K&M Visser Dairy
Adding these three dairies brings the total number of dairies contributing to their central cleanup/injection facility to eight, and also makes them the largest dairy biogas operation in the United States!
Currently, there are over 47,000 cows contributing to the 8 digesters. By years’ end, there will be an additional 30,000 cows contributing to 4 more dairy digesters. All in all, Calgren will be producing over 3,000,000 gallons of fuel each year, significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions to help the dairies comply with state policies, while also adding more revenue to the dairies’ bottom line.
Aemetis Biofuels Well On Its Way
Aemetis Biofuels (Stanislaus County) has started construction on the first two dairy digesters in their larger digester pipeline cluster. Double D Dairy and Ackerman Dairy Farm are the first two dairies and will be contributing nearly 10,000 cows worth of manure. The project will result in Aemetis Biofuels creating low Carbon ethanol and CNG fuel.
Maas Energy Works is serving as lead developer on those two projects. The two digesters are scheduled to come online in the next year making it the second operational dairy biogas pipeline cluster in the state.
Thanks for your interest in California dairy digesters. Maas Energy Works is the largest developer in the state, building digesters that are 100% farmer-owned, developer owned, or any combination in between.
Please contact us if you have any questions about work underway or future plans to create energy within California's proud dairy farming community.
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