The Lakeview Farms Dairy Biogas - To - Electricity Project

Launching the state's first "hub-and-spoke" dairy digester cluster

ABEC #3 LLC, dba Lakeview Farms Dairy Biogas

Recipient

Visalia, CA

Recipient Location

16th

Senate District

26th

Assembly District

beenhere

$3,951,694

Amount Spent

closed

Closed

Project Status

Projects Updates/The Results

The project broke ground in fall 2016 and construction was completed. The project accepted a PG&E 20-year Power Purchase Agreement and began testing in the fourth quarter 2017, with full operation and data collection commencing in the first quarter of 2018. A ribbon-cutting event was held in February 2018. The project has been operating and has collected operational data for one year. Electrical production from the digester exceeded expected production during 2018. Annual electrical production was more than 1,500 kilowatt-hours per milk cow equivalent. The project was completed in March 2019.

The Issue

Many factors hinder the financing, development, demonstration, and deployment of dairy-based bioenergy generation systems. Important factors include the economics and that dairy farmers lack expertise in electricity generation and are often not interested in becoming energy managers. California Bioenergy and some dairy farmers in the San Joaquin Valley are pursuing an ownership structure in which multiple dairies pool their interest across multiple biogas electricity and fuel production projects. This model could be used for California dairy farms interested in dairy biogas systems, but concerned about the economic and technical risks.

Project Innovation

ABEC #3 LLC, DBA Lakeview Farms Dairy Biogas is installing and demonstrating an innovative covered lagoon digester system that will process dairy manure into biogas to generate renewable electricity for export to the electricity distribution grid. This particular project is located near 11 other dairies and will help launch the state's first "hub-and-spoke" dairy digester cluster by preparing the 1 MW generator platform to accept 2 MWs of future capacity, potentially utilizing biogas from neighboring dairies and providing a means to off-take gas for vehicle fuel use. This hub and spoke approach was initially proposed in a case study prepared for the USDA on the economic feasibility of dairy digester clusters in California. The idea is to allow the dairies to benefit from the aggregation of capital investment and reduce operation and management costs by centrally locating the generators and associated electrical equipment.

Project Benefits

The project will significantly reduce methane emissions and generate renewable electricity, helping to achieve the state's greenhouse gas emission reductions and renewable electricity goals. Demonstrating the effectiveness of the innovative hub and spoke model could lead to the development of more California dairy digester biogas-to-electricity and biogas-to-fuels projects. The improved digester design will decrease dairy operating costs and provide valuable co-products, such as nutrient-rich irrigation water.

Consumer Appeal

Consumer Appeal

The project will improve odor control, through hydrogen sulfide removal, which is an issue important to dairy employees and benefits the local community.

Lower Costs

Lower Costs

The project aims to demonstrate a system that ultimately reduces dairy digester project costs by participating in electricity energy markets and taking advantage of economies of scale from the planned hub and spoke build-out.

Environmental & Public Health

Environmental & Public Health

The project will deploy new renewable power generation and consume methane gas currently vented into the atmosphere. The double-lined lagoon enhances groundwater protection by minimizing leaching of manure into underlying groundwater. The project estimates the carbon offsets that would likely be generated over the project’s 10-year crediting period at 144,090 tonnes CO2e gross based on CARB’s Livestock Protocol.

Key Project Members

Project Member

Neil Black

Project Manager

Match Partners

Rocket

ABEC #3 LLC, dba Lakeview Farms Dairy Biogas

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