Written by The Business Journal Staff
The California Energy Commission (CEC) has awarded a $1.2 million grant to sustainable biofuel and bioenergy company Biodico.
The grant is part of the CEC’s “Zero Net Energy Farms” project, which will enable farms to generate all electrical and heating power needs from on-site renewable resources, while reducing greenhouse gas footprints.
The award was granted under the CEC’s Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC) Challenge to develop innovative and replicable approaches for accelerating the deployment of Advanced Energy Communities (AEC) located in economically disadvantaged areas.
Biodico, which is based in Ventura and operates a facility in Fresno County, is matching the CEC funds to develop a “real-world” conceptual design that combines solar cogeneration, wind turbines, anaerobic digestion and gasification at Red Rock Ranch plant in Five Points.
“The Zero Net Energy Farms project leverages Biodico’s proprietary technology to create an energy efficient farm by utilizing economically viable solutions,” said Biodico President and Founder Russ Teall. “Our goal is to establish a template for ranches, farms and other agricultural interests throughout California’s Central Valley and beyond.”
Additional benefits of the project, according to Teall, include increasing the security, reliability and efficiency of the electrical grid, as well as reducing the cost of expanding capacity to meet California’s swelling population growth.
“There is a great need today for establishing a rational business case for tomorrow’s energy efficient farm,” said JJ Rothgery, chairman of the board at Biodico. “A Zero Net Energy Farm will help diversify power production and reduce the reliance on fossil fuels and water to generate electricity. The incorporation of these technologies will also enhance local economic development by providing jobs and an increased tax base.”
The project is slated to begin in June.