The Bar 20 Dairy, of Kerman, Calif., has been recognized by both the American Biogas Council (ABC) and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy for their Dairy Biogas Bloom Fuel Cell project with California Bioenergy LLC (CalBio). ABC awarded the project the Biogas Project of the Year and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy recognized Bar 20 with their Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability award.
A first of its kind project, the Bar 20 and CalBio project uses dairy biogas to generate electricity from Bloom Energy fuel cells. The renewable electricity is then used to power an onsite microgrid and fleet of BMW electric vehicles. The groundbreaking project brings together Silicon Valley and the Central Valley to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions, while fueling the future.
The fuel cells have the added benefit of powering a feed mixing system on the dairy, which replaces diesel and reduces smog-forming emissions by 90%.
“The Bar 20 Dairy Biogas Bloom Fuel Cell Project, with support and leadership from the Shehadey family and their Bar 20 Dairy operation, integrated Bloom Energy’s ultra clean and quiet, high efficiency non-combustion fuel cell technology with CalBio’s specialized digester and fuel treatment system. We look forward to replicating this innovative on-site power system on other dairies seeking more reliable and less expensive electricity,” CalBio CEO N. Ross Buckenham said.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy recognized Bar 20 for their electricity efficiency including use of LED light bulbs, which reduced electricity demand by 75%. Their energy efficiency efforts are complemented by two solar array installations. These measures, along with the digester project, result in carbon emission reductions equivalent to providing clean power to more than 17,000 electric vehicles per year.
The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy® is a forum that brings together the dairy community to address the changing needs and expectations of consumers through a framework of shared best practices and accountability. Initiated in 2008 by dairy farmers through the dairy checkoff, we collaborate on efforts that are important both to us and our valued customers in areas like animal care, food safety, nutrition and health, the environment and community contributions. Through the Innovation Center, the U.S. dairy community demonstrates its commitment to continuous improvement from farm to table, striving to ensure a socially responsible and economically viable dairy community.
The American Biogas Council is a national trade association representing the biogas industry in the U.S. Members include more than 300 companies in all parts of the biogas supply chain that are dedicated to maximizing the production and use of biogas from organic waste.