BioStar Systems, LLC & Sonoma County Biomethane Production for Transportation Fuel

BioStar Systems, LLC, is partnering with Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Transit to produce 240,000 cubic feet of biogas per day using a waste reception and blending facility, high temperature anaerobic digestion, and a biogas condition and compression facility. This project will produce 148,000 cubic feet per day of pipeline quality biomethane to be used by the Sonoma County Transit fleet. Excess gas will be distributed to public compressed natural gas stations in the state. The feedstock used for this project will be dairy waste (75,000 gallons per day (gpd) and food processor waste (66,000 gpd).

Grant Amount

The Energy Commission will provide $3,372,314 in Alternative and Renewable Fuel and Vehicle Transportation Program funds.

Match Funding

Project partners will provide match funding of $3,372,314.

Project Participants

BioStar Systems, LLC is a waste-to-energy company focused on agricultural manure, specifically, poultry manure. The company utilizes anaerobic digestion to convert the manure to biogas and residual solids. BioStar Systems will be partnering with Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Transit to implement this project and will be the project lead.

Sonoma County Water Agency and Sonoma County Transit are working with BioStar Systems on this project and will provide support in data collection as well as quality control. Both agencies will also help in the permitting in CEQA process to ensure BioStar meets all the necessary guidelines throughout this project.

Project Benefits

This project is a part of the County of Sonoma’s effort to implement a regional climate change program which aims to reduce GHG emissions by 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2015. The amount of biogas produced by this project is enough to fuel 33 of Sonoma County Transit’s 45 fleet buses daily.

Biogas can be produced and sold at a lower cost than fossil fuels, with environmental, energy, and economic benefits. Dairy farmers and food processors will save on disposal costs and avoid capital costs for expensive infrastructure to comply with increasingly stringent air quality regulations. This project will employ the only thermophilic digester producing biogas for transportation in Northern California.

The biomethane produced by the digestion of the waste will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 35,200 tons per year. Furthermore, this facility will reduce waste transportation costs for Sonoma County’s food industry by an estimated $120,000 per year. The reduced hauling distance would conserve approximately 80,000 gallons per year of diesel fuel, the equivalent of 800 tons per year of carbon dioxide.

The project will generate approximately 94 jobs over the life of the project, including manufacturing and construction jobs.

Grant Agreement Number: ARV-10-049

Read more about DRIVE, California's Alternative & Renewable Fuel & Vehicle Technology Program