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Energy efficient lighting, cooling, pumping, and other practices have substantially reduced on-farm energy consumption. The increased installation of renewable energy on California dairy farms is further reducing dependence on fossil fuels.

Through installation of energy-efficient equipment and lighting, individual dairies have cut energy use up to 20%.

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Solar Power: More than 150 California dairy farms are generating solar energy. On-farm solar systems already produce more than 250 million kWh of energy each year — the equivalent needed to power roughly 32,000 homes.

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Powering Clean Transportation: By installing digesters, California farmers are not only helping further shrink dairy’s carbon footprint to unprecedented levels, they are also helping the state transition to clean, renewable energy.

More than 120 dairy farms in California currently have digesters operating. Another 100-plus digester projects are in the works, to soon be capturing methane from 255 dairy farms. Renewable energy created on California dairies is already making a difference, replacing diesel use and helping power the state's clean-energy future:

 

  • Today, California dairy farms are generating enough renewable natural gas (RNG) to fuel more than 3,456 transit buses.

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  • At the same time, California dairy farms are also generating enough renewable electricity to power more than 12,399 electric vehicles.

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  • In total, California dairy farms power more than 15,000 vehicles. 

  •  The use of dairy RNG on local highways and roads is a significant opportunity to reduce air pollution today. It's already benefitting local communities, especially in the San Joaquin Valley. 

Equivalency calculations based on  the average “UBUS” rate per CARB’s EMFAC 2021 emissions model and  the average “LDA” rate per CARB’s EMFAC 2021 emissions model.

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Dairy farmers in the San Joaquin Valley have been making air quality improvements for many years by replacing tractors, electrifying irrigation pumps, and other efforts, often incentivized by local air quality regulators. The Electrified Dairy Feed Mixing Program is the latest example of this long-time partnership. Dairy farms are electrifying equipment used to mix, deliver, and push feed. 

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