Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PG&E) announced that the California Public Utilities Commission has approved its gas purchase agreement with Microgy Inc. to deliver up to 8,000 cubic feet of pipeline-quality renewable natural gas daily. The methane gas will be generated from cow manure and extracted by Microgy facilities in California.

PG&E is calling this new energy source “cow power.”

Microgy plans to construct four production facilities on the site of large dairy farms in California and interconnect those systems to PG&E’s 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, 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.”

PG&E also is exploring other projects that will demonstrate the viability of converting biomethane to pipeline-quality gas for use in power plants.  EC