Aemetis, Inc. on Monday said it secured a $25 million loan guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, allowing the renewable gas and fuels company to fund biodigester projects for eight new dairies.
The 20-year term loan has increased Aemetis’ total funding in recent months to $50 million, which is enough to expand its anaerobic digester footprint from seven to 15 dairies.
The Cupertino, California-based company is seeking $125 million in loans overall to expand its digester network and pipeline. It said there are 37 dairies already attached to its biogas project, with plans to build digesters for 65 dairies over the next five years.
Anaerobic digesters, used to break down cow manure into biogas, have grown in popularity as demand for renewable fuels increases. A total of 322 on-farm systems were operational at the end of 2021, according to the USDA, and more than 75% of them were located on dairy farms.
Founded in 2006, Aemetis is focused on technologies that replace petroleum-based fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The biogas digesters at 15 dairies are expected to produce more than 117.2 million kilowatt hours per year of carbon negative biogas.
The expansion is made possible with funding from USDA’s Rural Energy for America Program, which helps agriculture producers and small businesses invest in renewable energy systems. The Biden administration allocated $1 billion to REAP earlier this year.
When fully built, Aemetis said its project would remove greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to that produced by 150,000 cars per year.
In addition to its biogas project, the company is working to create renewable jet and diesel fuel from distillers corn oil and other renewable sources.