Avolta announced the completion of two dairy manure to renewable natural gas (RNG) projects at the Butterfield and Milky Way dairies. The projects have begun injecting RNG into the Southwest Gas pipeline for distribution. Avolta has partnered with U.S. Gain to distribute the RNG as an ultra-low carbon transportation fuel in California and other LCFS states, generating both RINs (under the Renewable Fuel Portfolio) and LCFS credits (under the California Air Resources Board).
Using anaerobic digestion, dairy manure is converted into biogas, comprised mainly of methane and carbon dioxide, and then upgraded to pipeline-quality natural gas using Nacelle Solutions biogas upgrading equipment. In addition to creating hundreds of construction jobs within the community, these two RNG projects have provided the dairies with optimized waste management solutions, new revenue streams, and significant carbon emission reductions.
“The dairy industry has seen a lot of change since our family started in the 1620s in Holland,” said farm owner Tommy de Jong. In running the dairy, Tommy and his sons have focused on sustainability by growing their own crops and minimizing the use of chemical fertilizers through using the manure nutrient management to reduce their overall carbon footprint.
“We’re confident that these RNG developments along with good stewardship of our local environment will help us to continue to care for our animals and produce high quality milk while decarbonizing our operations,” added de Jong. “This project continues our tradition of sustainability for the generations who follow.”
The Butterfield and Milky Way projects are among the first RNG facilities to qualify for Investment Tax Credits (ITC) under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). By reducing upfront costs for RNG projects to make them cost competitive through an ITC, the projects support the goal of the IRA to accelerate the reduction of carbon emissions in the U.S. by 40% by 2030 and promote a cleaner, more sustainable energy system.
With these RNG projects operational, the dairy farms can achieve measurable results, including:
Capturing 99% of the methane produced by 60,000 cows
Delivering over 675,000 MMBTU per year of negative carbon fuel into the California transportation market
Improving flush water quality
Reducing carbon emissions equivalent to removing 8,000 cars from the road annually
Producing enough RNG to power 6,500 homes annually
“We’re committed to helping Butterfield and Milky Way achieve the lowest carbon footprint possible,” says Avolta co-founder Patrick Graney. “Renewable natural gas and recycled water are just the beginning. We’re also in the process of installing solar to offset power usage as the next step in the journey of delivering complex projects that will have a lasting impact.”