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WATCH: HZI Converting Food Waste to Power and Compost in San Luis Obispo County

Hitachi Zosen Inova’s new bioenergy project in San Luis Obispo County is featured in this piece by KSBY.  The project is converting 72 million pounds of food and yard waste to renewable power that is sold to PG&E and compost that is used on surrounding farmland to return carbon and nutrients to the soil.

WATCH the news story here.

San Joaquin Renewables Project Converts Ag Waste to Fuels and Biochar

The Bakersfield Californian ran a front page story on San Joaquin Renewables’ project in MacFarland, Kern County, which will convert agricultural waste to low carbon vehicle fuels and biochar.  The project will provide huge benefits to the San Joaquin Valley, by providing an alternative to open burning of the agricultural waste and replacing diesel in heavy duty trucks.  The project will also provide about 50 good jobs in the County, which suffers high levels of unemployment.  And, it will provide carbon negative emissions because it will avoid black carbon emissions from open burning and diesel use, plus carbon sequestration from the biochar.

See the full article here.

Air Board Adopts Plan to Phase Out Open Burning of Agricultural Waste in San Joaquin Valley

In late February, the California Air Resources Board approved a plan to phase out the open burning of agricultural waste in the San Joaquin Valley, California’s largest agricultural region.  Open burning, which has increased nearly 500% in the past several years, is a major source of air and climate pollution in the Valley.  In fact, open burning of agricultural and forest waste is one of the largest sources of black carbon emissions – a powerful Short-Lived Climate Pollutant that is 3200 times more damaging to the climate than carbon dioxide and is also very harmful to public health, crops, forests, and more.

The Air Board’s plan calls specifically for:

  • A Clean Biomass/Bioenergy Collaborative across state agencies
  • Increased funding for bioenergy and other alternatives to open burning
  • Increased production of liquid and gaseous fuels from agricultural waste

See:  CARB Approved Plan to Phase Out Ag Burning (Feb2021)

New Fact Sheet Highlights Job Benefits of Bioenergy

See the new Bioenergy and Jobs Fact Sheet developed by Gladstein, Neandross & Associates for BAC and CNGVP.  The fact sheet highlights the jobs and other economic benefits that bioenergy provides from a range of organic waste sources and bioenergy end uses, including electricity generation, pipeline biogas, carbon negative vehicle fuels, and more.

Bakersfield Californian: Bioenergy Interest Heats up in Kern County

The Bakersfield Californian article highlights the many benefits of bioenergy production, from job creation to reduce air and climate pollution.  It highlights the growth of bioenergy projects in Kern County and the opportunities for bioenergy from all organic waste sectors.

Read the article here.

California Finalizes Organic Waste Diversion Regulations

In 2016, California enacted Senate Bill 1383 to reduce the most damaging climate pollutants, known as Short-Lived Climate Pollutants.  The bill requires a 40 percent reduction in methane emissions and a 50 percent reduction in anthropogenic black carbon by 2030.  As part of the methane reduction requirement, the legislation requires a 75 percent reduction in organic landfill waste by 2025.  That means diverting more than 15 million tons of organic waste currently going to landfills and converting it to energy and compost instead.

CalRecycle’s regulations to implement the organic waste diversion requirements were just finalized by the state’s Office of Administrative Law.  The key provisions related to bioenergy are contained in Article 12 (beginning on page 92), which sets out requirements for local jurisdictions to procure bioenergy and/or compost generated from the diverted organic waste.

See:  CalRecycle SB 1383 regulations (final)

Governor Proposes California’s 2021-22 Budget

Governor Newsom has released his budget proposal for the remainder of FY 2021 and the next fiscal year, which begins July 1.  The Governor has proposed increased funding for wildfire mitigation, including funding for the use of forest waste, and for heavy duty vehicles.  The proposed budget also includes funding for Healthy Soils, agricultural engine replacement, restoration of natural lands, and a Climate Catalyst Fund to provide low cost financing for clean energy development and other purposes.  Unfortunately, the proposed budget does not include funding for organic waste diversion or dairy digesters.

The Governor’s January budget proposal is available here.

LA County to Expand Food Waste Conversion to Vehicle Fuel

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts has pioneered the conversion of food waste to biogas at wastewater treatment facilities.  The Sanitation Districts have been converting food waste to biogas for electricity generation for more than six years.  They are now going to expand their conversion capacity and convert additional food waste to low carbon vehicle fuel.  When the expansion is complete, the Sanitation Districts will generate enough biogas to power the County’s wastewater treatment facility in Carson and produce renewable vehicle fuel equivalent to 2,000 gasoline gallons per day.

Projects like this are helping California to slash the most damaging climate pollutants, replace diesel and fossil fuel gas with low carbon and renewable fuels, and help meet state requirements to reduce landfill waste.

Read more about the project:  LACSD-Converting Food Waste to Fuel

CPUC Issues Proposed Decision on Voluntary RNG Tariff

The CPUC has issued a Proposed Decision that would adopt a voluntary tariff for customers of SoCalGas and SDG&E to choose to purchase biomethane.  The tariff requires that at least half of the biomethane purchased by the utilities is generated in California and half of that portion must come from sources other than landfill gas to help California meet is Short-Lived Climate Pollutant and waste reduction goals.  The tariff will include biomethane generate from biomass conversion (gasification and pyrolysis) as well as the biomethane from anaerobic digestion of organic waste.  The Proposed Decision would approve the voluntary tariff as a three-year pilot program and will then assess whether to make it permanent or replace with a biomethane procurement program.

See:  Proposed Decision on voluntary RNG tariff

WATCH: CalBio Opens Kern County’s First Dairy RNG Project

CalBio hosted a virtual opening of its dairy digester cluster project in Kern County.  This is the first dairy waste to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) project in Kern County and will provide many benefits to the County and beyond, including production of carbon negative fuel that can replace diesel, improvements to air and water quality, job creation, and economic development.

Watch the video of this exciting event here.

To learn more, see CalBio’s press release:  CalBio Dairy Cluster Biogas to RNG Project