California dairy digester program open for applications

By Anna Simet | May 19, 2017

The California Department of Food and Agriculture is accepting applications for project funding through its Dairy Digester Research and Development Program, which has enabled construction of numerous California digester energy projects over the past couple of years.

Funded by California Climate Investments Program proceeds via the state’s cap-and-trade auctions, this round, the CDFA-DDRDP will award between $29 million and $36 million for the installation of dairy digesters in California.

Dairy farmers and digester developers can apply for up to $3 million per project, based on the guidelines that it will result in “quantifiable greenhouse gas reductions,” and that the applicant can match a minimum of 50 percent of the total project cost.

The most recent round of the program funded five dairy digester projects, including an 800-kilowatt, covered lagoon digester energy system at Open Sky Ranch Dairy in Riverdale, California, which came online toward the end of 2016.  The project, developed and operated by Maas Energy Works, received a $973,000 grant from the program.

Prospective applicants must access “Request for Applications” here for detailed information on eligibility and program requirements. Applications and all supporting information must be submitted electronically by June 28.

According to organization Dairy Cares, there are currently 16 dairy digesters in operation across the state, capturing methane gas and generating renewable energy.