October 29, 2020. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) is for the first time dispensing California-produced renewable natural gas (RNG) at many of the natural gas fueling stations it operates across the U.S. state. The utility recently began purchasing RNG from Calgren Dairy Fuels, which captures the greenhouse gas-producing manure from dairy farms and turns it into RNG, a renewable fuel. SoCalGas has dispensed 100% RNG from out-of-state sources at its fueling stations for a year. Calgren’s facility is part of a rapidly growing biomethane industry in California and is currently the largest dairy biogas operation in the U.S.

“RNG is an important tool in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, which cause climate change, and we’re looking forward to major growth in production of this renewable fuel in California,” said Jawaad Malik, SoCalGas Vice President of Gas Acquisition. “With the right incentives in place, RNG has significant opportunity to help the state move toward carbon-neutrality in not only the transportation sector but in many areas where traditional natural gas is now used.”

“Calgren is excited to be one of the leading production facilities in the U.S., which will eventually capture the waste of more than 132,000 cows from at least 18 dairies,” said Lyle Schlyer, President of Calgren. “Using the methane captured from dairy waste for transportation fuel is good for the environment because it not only keeps methane from escaping to the air, it allows us to replace traditional natural gas with a renewable version, and it reduces pollution from diesel truck engines.”

Production of the fuel has accelerated quickly in California, supported by state incentive programs seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from trucking and dairy farms. In just the next three and a half years, at least 160 RNG production facilities will be online in California to serve the transportation fuel sector, producing more than 15.8 million therms of carbon-negative RNG every year and replacing about 119 million gallons of diesel fuel. That’s enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 3.4 million tons every year, the equivalent of taking more than 730,000 cars off the road.

Renewable natural gas trucks currently displace about 150 million gallons of diesel fuel in California.By increasing RNG trucks by ten times and decreasing diesel trucks by half, California could cut NOx emissions by 200 tons and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10 million tons.

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