For Immediate Release: October 23, 2008
Media Contact: Adam Gottlieb - 916-654-4989


Energy Commission Advisor to Speak on Biomass Energy Efforts at Local Walnut Farm Walnut Shells Converted into Energy with PIER Funding

A variety of sustainable farming tools are available to farmers and ranchers to meet environmental needs, reduce carbon emissions and create energy on the farm. The tour will provide an overview of sustainable farming tools and a farmer's perspective on the issue such as one farmer's example of using walnut shells as biomass fuel.

The Energy Commission's Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program contributed $725,000 to the total project funding of $1.1 million. The project uses biomass residue (walnut shells, hulls) to produce renewable power, heat and, eventually synthetic diesel fuel used to run farm equipment. This technology saves $40,000 worth of electricity annually as well as offsetting about $12,000 worth of propane used in walnut dryers.

WHAT: Renewable energy from walnuts, air quality standards, and how regulations and sustainable farming coexist will be topics of discussion as California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Secretary A.G. Kawamura tours Dixon Ridge Farms.

WHY: By converting organic, non-food biomass to produce synthetic fuel and heat supports the state Bioenergy Action Plan, reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and meets California's goals of increasing renewable fuels in an environmentally responsible way.

WHO: Assemblymember Lois Wolk; Susan Brown, Special Advisor to Energy Commission Vice Chair Jim Boyd, and CDFA Secretary AG Kawamura will speak.

WHEN: October 24 - Media Availability 8:45 a.m.

A tour to examine sustainable farming options will start at 9 a.m.

WHERE: Dixon Ridge Farms, 5430 Putah Creek Road, Winters.

VISUALS: Walnut shells converted into biomass fuel and heat energy via high tech machinery.

MEDIA CONTACT: Adam Gottlieb (916) 654-4989

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