Chevron Joint Venture Produces Renewable Natural Gas from Dairy Farms


SAN RAMON — Chevron U.S.A. Inc. has teamed with California Bioenergy LLC (CalB) and local dairy farmers to achieve the first renewable natural gas (RNG) production from dairy farms in Kern County, Calif. This advances the companies' goal of providing affordable, reliable and cleaner energy to California consumers.

The venture is based on manure storage on dairy farms releasing the greenhouse gas methane. CalBio is providing technology and operational expertise to help build digesters and methane capture projects to convert the methane to a beneficial use as RNG.

Chevron, CalBio and dairy farmers are funding digester projects across three geographic clusters in Kern, Tulare and Kings counties. Upon completion, the projects will mitigate the dairies' methane emissions and reduce greenhouse emissions from livestock.

The dairy biomethane projects are designed to send dairy biogas to a centralized processing facility where it will be upgraded to RNG and injected into local utility SoCalGas' pipeline, according to Chevron. The RNG will then be marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses.

"The project is the result of efforts of a remarkable range of stakeholders, including the California Department of Food and Agriculture, the California Energy Commission and the California Public Utility Commission. CalBio also is honored to be supported by a group of California's dairy farmers, Farm Credit West and Chevron, California's largest energy company," said CalBio CEO N. Ross Buckenham. "These projects bring so many win-wins — they help create local jobs, improve local air quality by producing renewable natural gas for use in low-NOX emission fleets and reduce dairy methane emissions."

The venture is one of several Chevron initiatives to increase renewables in support of its business and invest in lower-carbon technologies.

"This is an exciting milestone that speaks to the capabilities and can-do attitude of our partners CalBio and dairy farmers to bring this RNG to the California vehicle fuels market," said Andy Walz, president, Chevron Americas Products. "Chevron is increasing RNG in support of our business and is making targeted investments and establishing partnerships, as we evaluate many emerging sources of energy and the role they will play in our portfolio. And as a proud California company, we are pleased that local communities in the state will benefit from this investment."

Chevron U.S.A. Inc. is a subsidiary of San Ramon-based Chevron Corp., one of the world's largest integrated energy companies. It is active in more than 180 countries.