Baloian growing more than vegetables, Fresno expansion complete

As the summer season settles in for Baloian Farms, commodity harvests are approaching the peak of the season, the completion of a massive facility expansion in Fresno, CA, is a welcomed sight. The expansion includes the creation of additional dock space, the doubling the number of loading bay doors, and increased semi-truck parking capacity. These expansion areas combine to facilitate additional storage capacity for crops and also increases outbound loading efficiencies. The expansion simultaneously increases cross-docking capabilities for the growing needs of customers.

“We are thrilled for the opportunity to grow with our customers, and this facility expansion is just one phase of many that incorporates many years of planning and strategy,” said Jeremy Lane, sales manager for Baloian Farms. “Our long-term growth strategy includes year-round production of peppers, squash, eggplant, and chile peppers for distribution within the United States, Canada and Mexico.”

Timothy Baloian, CEO of Baloian Farms said, “The expansion of our Fresno location is an important investment in customer service, and we are contributing to the sustainability of our regional growers and business partners, both from a farming standpoint, and also from our business model that accommodates for the changing needs of our customers.”

Baloian Farms’ management anticipates an increasing need for multiple commodities to be ready and available to customers at all times. By increasing their product line this season to add yams, chili peppers, and cucumbers, these facility expansion plans are well served to bring Baloian Farms into a new decade of commodity leadership and growth.

Baloian Farms is a fourth-generation, vertically integrated family farm, with year-round operations specializing in peppers and mixed vegetables grown in California and Mexico.

https://theproducenews.com/baloian-growing-more-vegetables-fresno-expansion-complete

The Hottest Housing Markets Right Now In 2020

15 Housing Markets That Are Hot in 2020

The 15 hottest housing markets in 2020 are spread out across the U.S., though there are some geographic patterns. Out west, California, Idaho and Utah are home to several of the hottest housing markets. In the east, the hottest housing markets can be found in the Mid-Atlantic region and New England. Beyond that, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas are the other remaining places home to the hottest housing markets. The coldest housing markets, on the other hand, are heavily centered on vacation spots — like cities in Florida, Hawaii and Nevada — as well as densely-populated coastal metropolises like San Francisco and New York, the latter of which was hit the heaviest by the Covid-19 pandemic in its early stages. Read on to find out the 15 hottest housing markets of 2020.

7. Stockton, California

Stockton has been on a sustained path of growth over the years in terms of its population and economy. The Stockton metro area offers homes that are more affordable compared to other major cities in the California housing market, but prices are rising. The median list price for a home in the Stockton area was under $390,000 two years ago, but has now reached $472,250, a 21.6% increase — roughly $84,000 — from September 2018 to September 2020.

Rising home prices have been coupled with tightening inventory and fewer days on market. Last September, Stockton homes spent a median of 27 days on the market before being sold. Only a year later, the average amount of time is down to a mere 10 days on the market before getting grabbed up. With houses flying off the shelf in the Stockton metro area, available inventory has dwindled. From having more than 1,700 homes for sale in September 2018, Stockton now has only 616 available homes as of September 2020 — a decline in inventory of nearly 65% in only two years.

11. Fresno, California

The Fresno metro area is another California housing market that’s hot this year, with homes flying off the market shortly after they’ve been put up. Since 2012, the record for fewest number of days a home spent on the market in Fresno was 14 days back in July 2017. That record, however, was trounced in September 2020 when homes spent a median of just 9 days on the market before being sold. As a result, Fresno’s housing inventory has shrunk from nearly 2,000 available homes for sale in September 2018, to only 805 homes as of September 2020. Like many other housing markets on our list, Fresno’s inventory has dropped by more than half in only two years, putting a serious squeeze on homebuyers to find places for sale, let alone finding deals.

Fresno launches outdoor dining parklet project in Tower District

City officials announced Friday that outdoor dining parklets would be built in front of restaurants in Fresno’s Tower District, with the intent of creating outdoor seating in response to COVID-19 guidelines. The first location to have a parklet is Irene’s Cafe, which will have a temporary parklet starting Friday, followed by The Revue and The Lincoln Pub & Grub, which will have parklets installed next week.

The money to build the parklets came from $600,000 in grants through Fresno’s CARES Act funds to build parklets across the city, with $35,000 going toward the three businesses. “Our Tower businesses deserve our support during this difficult time and I’m glad our city has stepped up and provided it,” said Council President Miguel Arias.

The temporary parklets are expected to be replaced within three weeks with a permanent parklet. Additionally, five other businesses have started the application process to expand their outdoor dining area. “We look forward to bringing more outdoor dining to the Tower District,” said Tyler Mackey, Executive Director of the Tower District Marketing Committee. “Our businesses appreciate the city’s desire to help create solutions for the challenges of COVID-19.”

In coordination with the Fresno Arts Council, a call to artists has been issued for art submissions for murals to be featured on the permanent parklets to be consistent with the public art in the Tower District and in agreement on design with the business owners. “We are very excited to launch this program bringing much needed COVID-19 relief to our Tower District business owners,” said Councilmember Esmeralda Soria. “Our community is struggling with the effects of COVID-19 and our small business owners have been among those most affected. This is a creative way of keeping our residents safe and our small businesses afloat.”

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/local-news/fresno-launches-outdoor-dining-parklet-project-in-tower-district/

For CHSU’s Central Valley students, studying medicine at home is a dream

California Health Sciences University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine is a huge achievement for the Central Valley in itself. But, for the Central Valley natives who can now stay home to study medicine, it makes the upcoming school year even more special.

The 75 medical students making up the class of 2024 got acquainted with the 94,000 square foot campus during a three-day orientation this week. With the building meant to eventually house 600 students — along with faculty and staff — they all will be attending classes in-person with COVID-19 protocols in place.

The college’s dean, Dr. John Graneto, said 36% of the students are from the Central Valley. “We have students from Fresno, Sanger, Stockton, Bakersfield — all throughout the valley who said, ‘I would’ve never had an opportunity to go away to medical school if I had to go far away from my parents,’” Graneto said.

Bakersfield-native Rosie Kumal is one of those students. While she did her undergrad years at UCLA, she knew she had to return to the valley for medical school. Especially after experiencing the region’s health care issues firsthand. “My family always had a hard time finding a doctor, being covered under insurance,” Kumal recalled. “So, with the understanding of that background, I’m really excited to help people here in the Central Valley and give back.”

Matthew Lansman is another Central Valley native part of CHSU’s inaugural class in the College of Osteopathic Medicine. The Fresno State grad was inspired to pursue medicine when he was young, when a surgeon comforted him before starting an operation on his mother, who had breast cancer. “I was sitting in the waiting room, I was thinking, when I grow up I want to be the kind of person that can do the things she just did,” Lansman said. “I was a scared kid that came in this room and she brought so much peace to my life. I want to do that to other people.”

Lansman adds he applied as soon as CHSU opened up applications. He even turned down interviews at other medical schools after CHSU got back to him. Graneto said classes begin Monday at 8 a.m. First thing students will go through is a patient scenario with a primary care doctor.

https://www.yourcentralvalley.com/news/local-news/for-chsus-central-valley-students-studying-medicine-at-home-is-a-dream-2/

How one Central Valley city became Northern California’s logistics hub

Amazon. Safeway. Costco. FedEx. Ford. The Home Depot. These are just a few of the names that have established major distribution centers in San Joaquin County over the past 30 years.

Federal job statistics confirm that San Joaquin County is a leading center for warehousing, logistics and distribution in the Western United States. According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the Stockton-Lodi metropolitan area has the second-highest concentration of transportation and logistics jobs in the country — bested only by Laredo, Texas.

So what’s attracting all of these transportation, distribution and logistics operations to the region? A 2019 study from University of the Pacific’s Center for Business and Policy Research attributes the growth of San Joaquin County’s goods movement system to four primary causes: the rise of e-commerce, the coalescence of a Northern California mega-region, the county’s connectedness through its transportation infrastructure and its strategic location, and a workforce ideally suited for transportation and logistics jobs.

Strategic location

San Joaquin County is strategically located at the heart of what economists are calling the Northern California mega-region. It’s a concept that was first coined by the Bay Area Council in 2016. Encapsulating 21 counties in Northern California, the zone is home to more than 12 million people, representing nearly a third of California’s total population. The counties are connected by commute patterns, movement of goods, housing markets, and mutually complementary economies that help meet the needs of businesses throughout the region.

Stockton, San Joaquin County’s largest city (2018 population: 311,178) and primary economic center, is located less than 100 miles from San Francisco, San Jose, Oakland and Sacramento — places where the cost of land makes it prohibitively expensive to house expansive, large-footprint structures like warehouses and fulfillment centers. The combination of Stockton’s lower density and its proximity to large population centers in the Bay Area and Sacramento are what make it attractive to logistics and fulfillment operations in the region.

The exodus by these warehouses and distribution centers out of the core Bay Area began back in the mid-1990s, which was around the same time property values in San Francisco and nearby counties began to rise precipitously, according to the Center for Business and Policy Research. That trend has only accelerated since then. The center’s report finds that concentration of transportation and warehousing jobs has grown nearly three-fold since 1993.

A connected city

Whether it’s by air, land or sea, goods pass through Stockton around-the-clock.

Located at the nexus of two out of three major north-south freeways in California — I-5 and SR-99 — Stockton is connected by a robust ground transportation system to the major population centers in the Central Valley, Southern California and, via I-580, the San Francisco Bay Area. Moreover, its location along I-5, the major north-south freeway in the Western United States, provides connection to cities across the continental U.S.

The Port of Stockton, utilizing the San Joaquin River deep water channel, carries tons of cargo each year between the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay. Stockton Metropolitan Airport allows cargo carriers — including Amazon Air — to dispatch their goods to customers across the country.

All that is bolstered by top-tier rail service: The City of Stockton is served by two national Class I railway lines, and is home to two major intermodal rail-freight terminals, Burlington Northern Santa Fe and Union Pacific.

A motivated workforce

Known as a “city of makers,” Stockton is a top regional destination for artists, chefs, entrepreneurs, craftspersons and others working in the trades. San Joaquin Delta College, recently ranked the No. 4 best community college in the nation when measured along vectors related cost and quality, offers dozens of career and technical education (CTE) programs for career-minded individuals who know what industry they want to work in. Delta College also offers a CTE transition program for high school students grades nine through 12, offering a direct career pathway for jobs that are predicted to be in high demand, bypassing alternative paths that funnel students towards the increasingly saturated tech industry job market.

The culmination of these programs, together with Stockton’s relatively young population (the median age in Stockton is 32.8, compared to a national average of 38.2), creates a motivated, practical-minded, career-ready workforce ideal for filling blue-collar posts like those in the transportation and logistics industries. Additionally, with Stockton’s relatively low cost of living compared to coastal population centers in California, businesses will find a hardworking, relatively low-cost workforce in the Bay Area’s backyard.

SJ COUNTY: LAND OF AMAZON FULFILLMENT

San Joaquin County takes a back seat to no one — except San Bernardino County in Southern California — when it comes to Amazon Fulfillment Centers. With the opening earlier this year of the 746,790 square foot fulfillment center at 3565 North Airport Way in Manteca that’s sandwiched between 5.11 Tactical and Penske Logistics that serves as Lowe’s Northern California distribution center, there are now seven Amazon Fulfillment Centers in San Joaquin County. There are three apiece in Tracy and Stockton.

Those are in addition to the Amazon Prime delivery location on Louise Avenue in Manteca as well as the Amazon cargo operation at Stockton Metro Airport. Amazon is by far the largest private sector employer in San Joaquin County with well in excess of 6,000 jobs. According to FBA Help San Bernardino County is home to eight fulfillment centers. Tied with seven apiece are San Joaquin County and Dallas County in Texas. Riverside County in Southern California has five fulfillment centers. It was not by happenstance that San Joaquin County now has seven Amazon Fulfilment Centers.

The company Jeff Bezos founded is well known for its shrewd logistics chain that allows rapid delivery of customer orders. Much like the Inland Empire that consists of Riverside and San Bernardino counties is the prime logistics hub to serve the greater Los Angeles-San Diego area, San Joaquin County is the same for the NorCal Motorplex with 18 million consumers in and around its anchor cities of San Jose, San Francisco, Oakland, and Sacramento. The San Joaquin Partnership — a private-public organization dedicated to securing employers to locate within the county — for years has touted South San Joaquin County as the emerging Inland Empire for Northern California.

If you toss in the Patterson distribution center just over the Stanislaus County line along Interstate 5, they are seven Amazon Fulfillment Centers in the region that consist altogether of more than 7 million square or the equivalent of 50 Manteca Costco stores at 140,000 square feet apiece. There are a number of reasons why Amazon and other retailers and suppliers with distribution networks are attracted to South San Joaquin County. Manteca, Lathrop, Tracy, and Stockton are roughly equal distance to San Jose, San Francisco, and Sacramento. Interstate 5 — the only freeway that runs from Canada to Mexico — as well as Highway 99 run through here. Interstate 205 provides access to the Bay Area.

There are two major intermodal operations where truck trailers are loaded and unloaded on rail cars. One is the Union Pacific Railroad facility sandwiched between Lathrop and Manteca directly behind the Manteca Amazon Fulfillment Center on North Airport Way. The other belongs to Santa Fe Railroad and is located 10 miles northeast of Manteca on Austin Road. The majority of freight is now moved long distance in such a manner with trucks doing the deliveries on both ends.

Also 10 miles north of Manteca is the Stockton Metro Airport that Amazon Prime jets are using on a daily basis, Unlike San Jose, Oakland, San Francisco, and Sacramento airports there is minimal commercial traffic. The airport also has unparalleled access to freeways. Stockton Seaport doesn’t figure heavily into the distribution scheme but if the marine highway strategy is ever revived to take pressure off of truck movements out of the Port of Oakland by moving cargo containers by barge to Stockton, it could by enough of a magnet to draw distribution centers to the area.

Amazon opted to locate their Amazon Prime in a 91,340-square-foot delivery center on Louise Avenue in Manteca just west of the Manteca Unified School District complex for the same reason firms such as J&M Tractor and Frito-Lay shuttered separate distribution centers in Stockton and Modesto and relocated to a single facility in Manteca. Not only is Manteca 20 minutes away from both Stockton and Modesto but it is also 20 minutes away from Tracy that is closing in on 100,000 residents. That puts Manteca at the center of more than 1.2 million potential Amazon Prime consumers.

https://www.mantecabulletin.com/news/local-news/sj-county-land-amazon-fulfillment/

Tesla opens world’s largest Supercharger station

Tesla has been quickly expanding its Supercharger network lately and it just reached another milestone by opening the world’s new largest Supercharger station. It is located between two of Tesla’s biggest markets. Tesla’s fleet is growing at a fast pace and the automaker is adding more electric vehicles to the road than any other automaker. At the same time, the company is trying to keep up its infrastructure, like service centers, mobile service fleet, and charging infrastructure in order to support its growing fleet. Tesla’s charging infrastructure mainly consists of the Supercharger network, arguably one of the company’s greatest assets.

Recently, Tesla announced that it deployed its 20,000th charger in the Supercharger network. Now we’ve learned that Tesla has just opened a new Supercharger station that has become the new largest Supercharger station in the world:A few months ago, we reported on Tesla building the new Supercharger station in Firebaugh, California. We learned that Tesla was planning 56 Supercharger stalls at the new station — likely making it the largest Supercharger station in the world. Tesla has a few Supercharger stations with 50 stalls in China, but 56 is a new record. At 56 Superchargers, this new station will be six times bigger than Tesla’s average Supercharger station. It is located between the Bay Area and Los Angeles — two of Tesla’s biggest markets in the world. There is also a convenience store and a restaurant at the location that Tesla owners can patronize while they are charging.

Tesla has also built solar canopies to provide shade to the vehicles while also helping power the Supercharger station. The automaker has been promising to deploy more solar power capacity at Superchargers, but the rollout has been somewhat slow. CEO Elon Musk has been saying that Tesla will accelerate the deployment with the rollout of the Supercharger V3 stations, which started last year.

https://electrek.co/2020/11/14/tesla-opens-worlds-largest-supercharger-station/

Kern looks to seize economic benefits of carbon management

Momentum is building in the push to make Kern nationally competitive in carbon management, the emerging field of trying to slow climate change by removing or reducing greenhouse gases. The most ambitious project, now wrapping up initial design work and heading into permitting early next year, could put the state’s first carbon capture and sequestration project at the Elk Hills Power Plant in western Kern. Alternative fuels projects underway locally are also part of the county’s carbon-management portfolio, and agricultural land in the region could play a role as well. There’s also hope the county’s renewable energy portfolio will help it land investments in hydrogen fuels.

Lorelei Oviatt, the county planner spearheading the effort, sees the carbon-management industry as being in its infancy, much as renewable energy was when Kern embraced that field and became a leader in the state through a focus on permitting efficiency. Since the county Board of Supervisors voted early this year to add the field to its list of industries worthy of subsidy supports, Oviatt has begun working to understand environmental impacts of such work and ways of possibly cushioning them.

Oviatt sees a wealth of opportunities, based on a number of local strengths — a workforce well-suited to industrial labor, chemical safety expertise and proximity to renewable energy in the form of eastern Kern’s solar and wind farms. Another advantage is Kern’s inventory of open land. “When it’s time to build it, are you building it in San Jose? Are you building it in Santa Monica? No,” she said. But Oviatt has also identified local competitive disadvantages. Technologies dependent on ample water access probably won’t work locally, she noted, and Kern’s biggest competitor, Texas, doesn’t have to deal with an expensive state environmental review process that takes a year and a half.

Having become somewhat disillusioned by solar projects that have yielded little revenue for county government and only modest employment opportunities, she said her goal is not simply to prioritize large investments. Rather, it is to attract good-paying jobs and tax income to help make up for economic and financial losses expected to result locally from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s anti-oil policies. Because of carbon management’s environmental promise, it’s possible Sacramento’s goal of making California “carbon neutral” by 2045 may yet be of some benefit to Kern.

A report released in January by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory concluded the state can achieve that goal by burying or offsetting 125 megatons per year of carbon dioxide. It also pointed to a significant role for Kern. In addition to outlining land management practices and waste material processing, Livermore recognized local oil formations’ vast geologic capacity for permanently storing carbon dioxide. One such project, California Resource Corp.’s “CalCapture” initiative, is scheduled for a county environmental review in the first quarter of next year. The company hopes to see it operational by mid-decade.

The project is not intended to vacuum CO2 out of the atmosphere — an expensive and energy-intensive process that may eventually figure into the local economy. Rather, CalCapture would remove a large share of the compound from the emissions stream of CRC’s 550-megawatt Elk Hills Power Plant in the Tupman area. Early estimates were that the project, one of nine to receive recent financial support from the U.S. Department of Energy, would process 83 percent of the emissions from the plant’s chimneylike flue. Of that, 90 percent of the CO2 would be captured, trapped deep underground, and be used to displace oil and extend the life of the prolific Elk Hills Oil Field.

CRC said by email CalCapture is expected to generate nearly 3,500 jobs statewide and more than $200 million in taxes during its three-year construction period, plus 150 permanent jobs and $200 million in taxes over 20 years. “We are excited to advance this pioneering project that will make Kern County and our state a leader in CCS (carbon capture and sequestration) technology,” the company said.

Expanding on what carbon management might ultimately mean for the county, Oviatt noted that farmland can be used to manage carbon, too. That may involve transitioning to different crops, she said, or working with agricultural properties that might have to be taken out of production because of upcoming groundwater restrictions. Local production of alternative fuels can be considered carbon management, too, and that’s already happening, with more to come.

At least two local refineries — Kern Oil & Refining Co. and Crimson Renewable Energy LLC — produce renewable diesel in significant quantities. Crimson makes a biodiesel that can be stored in conventional fuel tanks and releases 80 percent less carbon. Also, this year it was announced a Torrance-based company had bought the former, 67,000-barrel-per-day refinery on Rosedale Highway. It said it plans to spend $365 million reopening the plant by early 2022 with about 100 employees producing 10,000 barrels per day of biodiesel from cooking oil. Later, it wants the refinery to make the product from a ground-cover plant called camelina.

Hydrogen energy is another aspect of carbon management that Oviatt said might hold promise locally. It’s a complex technology that can take many forms, she said, with one important requirement that the energy involved come from renewable energy, which Kern makes a lot of.

One advantage Kern has in that regard is a new partnership between Bakersfield College and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which Oviatt said is on the very cutting edge of carbon management. That partnership, she said, represents an “absolute new future for us.” “To have them here gives us national and international exposure,” she said.

Nautilus: transforming the data center industry

Nautilus Data Technologies is a global pioneer in water-cooled data centers and is leading a global transformation to ultra-efficient, high-performance and environmentally sustainable operations in the data center sector.

James Connaughton is the CEO at Nautilus. Having joined the organisation in March 2016, he has overseen the implementation of the world’s first water-cooled and water-borne data center with Nautilus. “There are two essential features,” explains Connaughton. “The first and most important feature is cooling with naturally cold water, which is how all other major infrastructure sectors address the large amounts of heat generated by their systems. These include, for example, thermal power plants, ships, industrial processing facilities, and paper mills. Only data centers, generate heat at a similar industrial scale, still use massive and unsustainable air-cooling systems. The second feature is mobility–the ability to prefabricate the data center in large modules, and either assemble them onto a barge and deliver it fully ready to go, or transport the modules to a prepared site for rapid assembly. Placing essential infrastructure on barges—such as energy barges and water treatment barges–is a well-established model for enabling rapid and flexible access to such infrastructure in fast growing and emerging markets. The opportunity and need is equally strong today when it comes to providing access to digital infrastructure to those who currently lack it.”

Connaughton believes data centers are the newest and most important component of critical infrastructure that sustains and enriches the lives of people around the world. “Data centers now stand alongside power generation, drinking-water plants, waste-water plants, roads and other critical infrastructure that allows society to function and create good outcomes for people,” he explains. “Access to the water molecule and the electron has long been vitally important. Worldwide access to the photon for data delivery is the next essential piece.” Over the past two years, Connaughton has overseen the development of the company’s first full-scale commercial facility, which provides six megawatts of water-cooled data center capacity on a barge. He strives for an innovative approach across all his operations. “We’ve been on the arc of creative invention and cleverly practical engineering to make that a reality,” says Connaughton. “The first part of our company’s life has focused on building a functional prototype, and then using that experience to make the thousands of decisions of what not to do against the several hundred decisions of what to do in bringing a full scale facility into being. We’re really excited to be commissioning that data center in California in just a few weeks time.”

Nautilus is planning to develop facilities in North America, Europe and Asia, and has been contacted by potential partners to pursue projects in the Middle East, Africa, and South America. “Once our data center in North Carolina is up and running, we look forward to onboarding a great set of anchor customers,” says Connaughton. “We will show the world the ultra-efficiency, high-performance, and the strong sustainability of our approach. After that, we are ready to rapidly move into other locations to “productize” the technology and we look forward to partnering through joint ventures and technology licensing so that we can get this important technology out into the world as quickly as possible.”

https://www.technologymagazine.com/brochure/nautilus-transforming-data-center-industry

Visalia tech converts dairy air into low-emission fuel

VISALIA – A Visalia company has successfully converted cow manure into a renewable natural gas. California Bioenergy, LLC (CalBio), based in Visalia, announced on Sept. 24 it had successfully achieved the first renewable natural gas (RNG) production from manure stored at dairy farms in Kern County.

“This technology will de-carbonize transportation fuels in the state,” CalBio CEO N. Russ Buckenham said. “When you run a heavy duty truck on RNG, it’s 90% cleaner than running that truck on diesel. And there are a lot of diesel trucks running up and down Highway 99. It’s a terrific benefit to cleaning the air and cleaning the sky.”

Manure stored on dairy farms results in the release of methane, a highly potent greenhouse gas, which causes the Earth’s atmosphere to trap in heat, a major component of climate change. The biomethane projects capture the methane into digesters, which works similar to your stomach, to convert solids into gas. The biogas is then sent to a centralized processing facility where it will be refined into RNG and injected into local utility SoCalGas’ pipeline. The RNG is then marketed as an alternative fuel for heavy-duty trucks and buses, and eventually off-road and farm equipment.

Last month’s announcement marks a significant milestone for CalBio, which has been at the technological forefront of converting dairy waste into renewable fuel since 2006. That’s when Buckenham, a technology engineer, partnered with Neil Black, a leader in environmental sustainability, to begin developing biodigester technologies for dairies. In 2013, CalBio launched the largest dairy digester in the state near Bakersfield in Kern County, the first project attempting to make the technology viable on a commercial scale.In the joint venture between CalBio, Chevron and dairy farmers, the Visalia company brought technology and operational experience to help build digesters and methane capture projects to convert this methane to a beneficial use as RNG. Chevron provided funding for digester projects across three geographic clusters in Kern, Tulare and Kings counties in additional to money invested by the dairies. As they are completed, these projects will mitigate the dairies’ methane emissions and reduce greenhouse emissions from livestock. Also last month, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors approved an underground pipeling connecting a dairy cluster in north Visalia with Southern California Gas Company’s (SoCalGas) utility pipeline. The clusters of digesters have been awarded California Department of Food and Agriculture grants, which must be augmented with additional capital to complete the projects.

Most of California’s large dairies are making plans to install digesters to capture biogas from their cow manure but are looking for a cleaner way to utilize this fuel. Biogas captured from cow manure contains approximately 65% methane, which has a 25 times greater impact on global warming than CO2 emissions and accounts for 105 of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, but is also a useful, renewable fuel. CalBio is directly involved in half of the 123 dairy digester projects in operation or development across the state. Ninety-four percent of those projects are at San Joaquin Valley dairies, 55 of which are in Tulare County. According to DairyCares.com, a single cow can generate enough renewable fuel to drive a car across the country. Five cows are enough to power a house for an entire year.

“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,” Buckenham said. CalBioGas began the joint venture with Chevron last summer when it secured funding from the energy company to build infrastructure for dairy biomethane projects in California’s San Joaquin Valley, adding to the investment from dozens of dairy farmers. Chevron will also provide services to bring this product into the California vehicle fuels market.

Andy Walz, president of Chevron Americas Products, said the milestone demonstrates the company’s effort to increase renewables and to 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,” Walz said. “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.”

CalBio is a leading developer of dairy digesters for generating renewable electricity and vehicle fuel in California. Founded in 2006, CalBio has worked closely with the dairy industry and state agencies to develop programs to help the state achieve its methane reduction goals while delivering a new revenue source to California dairies. For more information, visit: www.calbioenergy.com.

https://thesungazette.com/article/news/2020/10/21/visalia-tech-converts-dairy-air-into-low-emission-fuel/