ABEC #4 Renewable Combined Heat and Power Project

Converting dairy manure to renewable energy

ABEC #4 LLC CE&S Dairy Biogas


Visalia, CA

Recipient Location


Senate District


Assembly District



Amount Spent



Project Status

Project Update

The project accepted a PG&E 20-year Power Purchase Agreement with full operation and has collected operational data for one year commencing in the first quarter of 2018. Electrical production from the digester exceeded expected production during 2018. Monthly gross electrical production was more than 680,000 kWh. The project was completed in March, 2019.

The Issue

California has had limited success in the dairy biogas industry due to permitting obstacles and complexities, high environmental compliance costs, lack of long-term economical power purchase agreements, high financing risk and costs, and little commercialization of the industry. Further, dairy farmers typically are not experienced in building and operating digesters and generation systems. Combined Heat and Power (CHP) has the potential to increase dairy farm energy efficiency and reduce peak demand and dairy operation electricity costs. Projects demonstrating how dairies can benefit from CHP are critical to the success of future dairy digester-to-electricity projects.

Project Innovation

The project uses biogas derived from on-site dairy manure to generate low-carbon, renewable electricity and to achieve high overall efficiency by capturing waste heat from the power generation system and using it to drive an absorption chiller. The absorption chiller is designed to convert waste heat into chilling capacity, which will be used to chill milk produced by the dairy cows. New absorption chiller capacity directly offsets electricity consumption from existing electric chillers. Combining renewable generation with waste heat collection and cooling, the project increases energy efficiency of the existing dairy by an estimated 10% or more, while also reducing peak grid power demand.

Project Benefits

The project represents a significant advance in dairy energy management by combining renewable generation with waste heat collection and cooling to increase energy efficiency of the existing dairy by an estimated 10% or more, while also reducing peak grid power demand. The project benefits include substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, lower manure handling costs, and generation and distribution of technical and economic data on community scale power production.

Consumer Appeal

Consumer Appeal

The project will improve odor control, through hydrogen sulfide removal, which is important to the dairy employees and benefits the local community. Progress has been made in limiting hydrogen sulfide (H2S) emissions from a high of 5000 ppm to under 100 ppm while utilizing only the air injection system, and under 7 ppm with a final iron sponge scrubbing.

Lower Costs

Lower Costs

By advancing digester economics and design, through efficient manure management practices, the project will help lower dairy management and operation costs.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental & Public Health

The double-lined lagoon enhances groundwater protection by minimizing leaching of manure into groundwater. Climate Trust estimates the carbon offsets that would likely be generated over the project’s 10 year crediting period at 206,060 tonnes CO2e gross based on CARB’s Livestock Protocol. The environmental benefits of this project include reduction of 11,012 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalents, and holding exhaust emissions to under 6.4 ppm of nitrous oxides (NOx) and 57 ppm carbon monoxide (CO) which are both well under California Air Resources Board (CARB) limits of 11 ppm NOx and 210 ppm CO.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Neil Black

Project Manager

Match Partners


ABEC #4 LLC CE&S Dairy Biogas

Contact the Team