The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved $19.4 million in grants to help food producers reduce energy use and cut the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Seven of the eight grants involve enhanced natural gas technologies.

Funded through the CEC’s Food Production Investment Program (FPIP), the grants are part of the state’s overall climate investment efforts using cap-and-trade dollars to help reduce GHG emissions, strengthen the economy, and improve public health and the environment, according to CEC.

By upgrading the gas use to more efficient technology, the facilities are expected to see cost savings and natural gas reductions. FPIP-funded projects could reduce GHG emissions by up to 50% annually at host facilities, according to CEC.

Since FPIP was established in 2018, the CEC has awarded more than $51 million for 25 projects in 15 counties across the state. Food processing plants account for more than 3 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent of emissions in the state, according to the California Air Resources Board.

“This program provides essential support to California food producers who are seeking to reduce costs and be part of the climate solution by adopting innovative projects that save energy and shrink their carbon footprints,” said Vice Chair Janea Scott.