Kerman dairy farm turning methane into electricity, stopping greenhouse gases

Dale Yurong Image
Saturday, November 6, 2021
Kerman dairy farm turning methane into electricity
An iconic Valley business that dates back to 1932 is now better equipped for a sustainable future.

KERMAN, Calif. (KFSN) -- The quiet hum of fuel cells is occasionally interrupted by mooing cows.

Their constant flow of manure gets flushed through a covered dairy digester which removes impurities.

Bar 20 Dairy owner Steve Shehadey says the biogas created is then filtered and converted.

"Once that happens, it travels down to this fuel cell, which is 99.9% zero emissions and creates energy," he said.

The cows produce 200 million pounds of milk each year for Producers Dairy.

Instead of adding to the Valley's air pollution problem, Shehadey says the new system offers a solution.

"It does two things," he said. "It removes methane, which is a harmful gas and it also produces renewable energy. Two things that California needs, right."

The Shehadey family has owned and operated Producers Dairy for 66 years.

They worked with California Bioenergy on the project to move renewable energy onto the power grid.

"Methane reduction is one of the fastest and cheapest ways to limit the effects of global warming," says California Bioenergy CEO Ross Buckenham.

State Ag Secretary Karen Ross was on hand for the ribbon-cutting at the dairy.

It came at a time world leaders were meeting in Glasgow to address climate change.

"Just this week, there was this big announcement that about 100 countries that have all agreed to reductions of methane and agriculture are leading the way in California on our methane reductions," she said.

The fuel cells are connected to an EV charging network, which will power the next generation of electric vehicles like the 2022 BMW IX.