Madera, Calif., (August 23, 2017) – Representatives from the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) attended a ribbon-cutting ceremony last week at Philip Verwey Farms in Madera to celebrate the installation of an on-farm anaerobic dairy digester. It was made possible by a $2.3 million grant from CDFA’s Dairy Digester Research and Development Program (DDRDP), which receives funding from the state’s cap-and-trade program. The digester will use methane formed by decomposing manure to produce energy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The facility will create an estimated 4.8 million kilowatt-hours of electricity — enough power to completely offset the dairy’s total electricity usage. The digester will also reduce 240,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas over the next 10 years– the equivalent of removing 50,696 passenger cars off the road.
“Collaboration is critical in the fight against climate change,” said CDFA Deputy Secretary Jenny Lester Moffitt, who attended last week’s event. “Technologies like anaerobic digesters are an excellent example of how government and the private industry can work together to meet our greenhouse gas reduction goals and add value to dairy byproducts. It is a win for agricultural economies and a win for the environment.”
The project, which is the third digester to go online using DDRDP funds, was developed in partnership with Maas Energy Works and 4 Creeks Engineering. Additional financial contributions came from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program and matching funds from Philip Verwey Farms.
The DDRDP is part of California Climate Investments, a statewide program that uses cap-and-trade funds to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment. The DDRDP will provide an estimated $29-36 million in competitive grant funding to aid in the installation of dairy digesters.
For more information, please visit https://www.cdfa.ca.gov/oefi/ddrdp/.