PG&E Energizes Governor's Inaugural With Cow, Soy and Sun Power

PG&E Energizes Governor's Inaugural With Cow, Soy and Sun Power

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. has teamed up with Joseph Gallo Farms and Microgy, Inc., to provide clean, renewable manure digester biogas to power the Governor's "Leading the Green Dream" Inaugural Celebration at the State Capitol.

PG&E will also be using biodiesel made from soybean oil, solar energy and purchasing carbon credits to make the event's power use carbon neutral.

"We are excited to be a participant in today's 'Green Dream' celebration in partnership with Joseph Gallo Farms and Microgy, Inc., and we applaud Governor Schwarzenegger's leadership in environmental protection and his commitment to clean technology innovation," said Tom King, CEO of PG&E. "The use of biogas, biodiesel and solar energy here today is more than symbolic: it is a real-life demonstration of available renewable energy sources that can aid in addressing climate change challenges."

The greenhouse gasses typically emitted from the conventional resources used to power events like this have been cut in half by using these renewable energy sources. PG&E is also purchasing carbon dioxide reductions from the Van Eck Forest in Humboldt County, which is the first forest certified by California's stringent forest sequestration protocols, to make all the energy used to power this event carbon neutral.

The biogas for a 60-kilowatt generator that will help power the celebration was created from cow manure at Joseph Gallo Farms in Atwater, California. The biogas process uses natural microbial action to convert the nutrients in the manure into a renewable energy source. Using the gas to create electricity also reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

"My family and I have had a strong commitment to the California environment for generations now. I am pleased that our Governor shares this emphasis with us, and am happy to work with him to help keep our state great," said Mike Gallo, CEO of Joseph Gallo Farms.

"California's dairy industry represents a valuable, renewable energy source that offers our state a wide variety of economic and environmental benefits," added Jeff Dasovich, senior vice president of Microgy, Inc. "Our company is aggressively partnering with innovative dairy producers like Mike Gallo, recent recipient of the International Dairy Foods Association's Innovative Farmer of the Year Award, and leading utilities like PG&E to develop our state-of-the art digester systems and bring the benefits of cow power to California."

PG&E first contacted Gallo just before Christmas about obtaining biogas to power the inauguration.

"PG&E was referred to us by Microgy, Inc., our partner in additional digester projects, because we have a successful manure digester generation system that has been operating for over two years," said Carl Morris, Gallo's General Manager.

In December, one of Gallo's biogas generators was disconnected and PG&E gas compression equipment was connected to collect the gas and store it in a compressed gas tube trailer, which is being used to fuel the 60-kilowatt biogas generator providing electricity for today's event. PG&E is also using 60-kilowatt biodiesel-fueled generator, which uses commercially available biodiesel that is a mixture of regular diesel and biodiesel made from soybean oil. In addition, PG&E worked with Akeena Solar to provide a 3-kilowatt solar installation, which can generate enough electricity to power a typical California home.

In addition to connecting biogas-fueled generation to its electric grid, PG&E is partnering with Joseph Gallo Farms, Microgy, Inc. and other digester companies on a program that will result in gas produced from dairy manure being processed and delivered into PG&E's gas transmission pipelines for delivery to power generators as a renewable energy resource.