Stillwater Delivering Gas via Virtual Pipeline
California dairy families marked a first this fall. David TeVelde and Maas Energy Works began operating the state’s first dairy biogas “virtual pipeline” whereby biogas from their digester at Stillwater Ranch (Hanford, CA) is trucked to the Calgren Dairy Fuels gas cleanup hub (Pixley, CA), for use in creating vehicle fuel. The gas travels in compressed CNG tube trailers, hauled by CNG-powered trucks. This model could enable more dairies to participate in pipeline projects, even if they aren’t located near major pipelines or “clusters” of dairies.
The initial plan for the Stillwater Ranch digester was to use the biogas to create Renewable Electricity under the BioMAT tariff. With all of the woes that PG&E has had to weather, the project became seriously delayed in interconnecting to the power grid. Wanting to find a way to preserve the dairy’s investment into the digester technology while waiting for interconnection, Maas Energy Works sought out virtual pipeline options. Upon startup, Stillwater began delivering 1 truckload of biogas to Calgren Dairy Fuels every day and has since increased to two truckloads a day.
The BioMAT project is still forthcoming as there is plenty of gas to run both systems. Maas Motor Works is currently packaging the 1-Megawatt genset for delivery and commissioning in 2020.
Calgren Dairy Fuels grows again, this time with Open Lots
Riverview Dairy, owned by Randy Gorzeman, started up its digester operated by Maas Energy Works on October 3rd. Riverview is now the the 2nd Open Lot milking facility in the Calgren Dairy Fuels digester cluster alongside K&M Visser Dairy. The clustering model has proven very beneficial to dairies who have been overlooked by other developers. On an open lot milking facility, only a fraction of the manure is captured in the flush lanes each day, and therefore these dairies generate less gas than a standard freestall milking facility.
With the economics of centralizing biogas cleanup and the convenience of having their nearby pipeline to feed the gas into, Calgren was able to save enough on the capital expenses to make the investment on the dairies worthwhile and bring these open lot dairies' digesters online. This has allowed both dairies to get multiple manure handling upgrades as well as a new source of revenue. Congratulations to Randy and Keith!
Hilarides Dairy Digester Ready For Another Decade
Finally, one of California’s oldest operational dairy digester facilities is getting a new lease on life. Hilarides Dairy near Tulare, CA has hosted a dairy digester since 2003. Owner, Rob Hilarides, has been a leader in dairy innovation and efficiency.
Since 2003, the digester’s biogas has been used to fuel milk trucks that were converted to run on Compressed Natural Gas (CNG). The remainder of the biogas fueled a series of gensets to provide electricity to run the dairy facility. However, after 15 years the project’s six older generators could no longer supply the power needed for the site.
Working with Maas Motor Works fabrication shop in Redding, California, Hilarides Dairy has replaced those 6 small engines with a single new 16-cylinder, lean-burn, turbo-charged generator that will create more power than the old engines could produce. The new engine also operates at much higher efficiencies and produces significantly lower emissions. The project will still create CNG fuel, and future expansions are possible as this systems gets back into action.
Maas Energy Works has always held the motto, “Renewable Energy that Works.” They consider it a privilege to be able to assist the state’s first producers who took the leap to build digesters, and keep the dairy industry profitable and sustainable.
Thank you 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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