Propane Engines Help California Producers Reduce Emissions, Lower Fuel Costs

Propane is helping some California producers save big.

California producers grow more than half of the nation’s fruits, nuts, and vegetables on over 76,000 farms, which requires a significant investment in energy and equipment. Tier 4 emissions regulations mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency and California air pollution standards have prompted more California producers to explore alternative fuels. With rising costs for diesel and electricity, and higher upfront costs for engines, many growers are taking advantage of the benefits of propane because it offers consistent, reliable power while reducing costs and emissions.

In 2014, the Propane Education & Research Council partnered with engine manufacturers, California equipment dealers, and growers to test the performance of new propane-powered engines in the state. Eight units were placed in fields to irrigate a variety of crop types, including rice, wine grapes, feed for dairy cattle, fruits, nuts, and vegetables. At the end of the season, these eight propane-powered engines were found to save these California producers an estimated total of $86,470 in fuel savings.

See the full results of the irrigation demonstration program with specific data and ROI figures from three different California-based producers that participated in the program.