A dairy in west Fresno County that converts manure into electricity is the first to become operational under a state program aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
State and federal officials were at Open Sky Ranch in Riverdale on Thursday to introduce the dairy digester project that was funded under a California Department of Food and Agriculture research and development program.
The digester received a $973,430 grant from the program that is paid for by California’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction fund. Dairy owner Eric TeVelde provided $973,434 in matching funds.
The digester at Open Sky Ranch captures methane gas that would otherwise leak into the atmosphere and turns it into electricity.
The gas from the ranch’s digester is enough to produce about 800 kilowatts of renewable electricity annually, or enough to power 600 homes.
Other digester projects are in various stages of development in California, state officials said.
At Thursday’s event was CDFA undersecretary Jim Houston, USDA business and cooperative specialist Guadalupe Valdes, Maas Energy Works chief executive officer Daryl Maas, and dairy owner TeVelde.