San Francisco [RenewableEnergyAccess.com] Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) announced last week that the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) has approved its gas purchase agreement with Microgy, Inc., a subsidiary of Environmental Power Corporation, to deliver up to 8,000 Million cubic feet (Mcf) of pipeline quality renewable natural gas daily.
The methane gas, captured from cow manure, will be generated by Microgy facilities in California.
Mircrogy plans to construct four production facilities on the site of large dairy farms in California and interconnect those systems to PG&E’s extensive gas pipeline network. In addition to producing renewable energy, each of these facilities can produce significant greenhouse gas benefits by capturing methane from cow manure.
“Biogas is a triple win for California,” said Roy Kuga, Vice President of Energy Supply at PG&E. “It delivers clean, renewable energy to our customers, improves the air quality of the communities we serve and provides farmers with a new revenue stream that would otherwise go unutilized.”
Cow power is the newest way PG&E is trying to meet its renewable energy goals. PG&E is also exploring other projects that will demonstrate the viability of converting biomethane to pipeline quality gas for use in power plants.
PG&E currently supplies 12 percent of its energy from qualifying renewable sources under California’s Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS) program. According to PG&E, the utility is on track to exceed the 20 percent renewable energy penetration level by 2010.