Livestock Project Protocol FAQs

  1. My biogas project also generates electricity onsite. Is this eligible?
  2. My livestock operation previously stored most of its manure in dry lots. Now the waste is sent to a centralized digester and the gas is sent to an engine. Is this eligible?
  3. What if I want to install a biogas control system at a new livestock facility, where it is not required by law? How do I establish a “pre-project” manure storage baseline if the livestock facility is brand new?
  4. Is an anaerobic digester at a poultry farm eligible?
  5. Is an anaerobic digester at a beef farm eligible?
  6. My project digests manure as well as whey from the dairy operation and also food scraps from local businesses. Is it eligible?
  7. With what frequency am I required to check my biogas flow meter for calibration accuracy?
  8. Verification guidance was changed in Version 3.0 of the protocol, what are my options now?

  1. Q: My biogas project also generates electricity onsite. Is this eligible?
    A: Beneficial use projects are eligible under the livestock protocol. However, no credits are issued for the displacement of grid electricity. Only methane avoidance (i.e. destruction) is credited under our program. Depending on the project specifics, renewable energy certificates (RECs) can sometimes be generated and sold, but this is separate from our program since displaced grid electricity is not credited by the Climate Action Reserve. See Table 4.1 of the protocol for details on what greenhouse gas sources, sinks, and reservoirs are included and eligible for crediting.

  2. Q: My livestock operation previously stored most of its manure in dry lots. Now the waste is sent to a centralized digester and the gas is sent to an engine. Is this eligible?
    A: Dry lot storage results in waste breaking down primarily aerobically, and therefore produces little methane in the baseline. The focus of the livestock protocol is on methane avoidance (destroying methane that was being created in the pre-project or baseline scenario). Therefore, projects that stored very little manure in anaerobic lagoons pre-project will likely be able to claim little or no credits, as little or no methane avoidance is occurring. See Table B.6 of the protocol for details and Methane Conversion Factor (MCF) percentages for anaerobic lagoons as compared with dry lot and compost type manure storage systems.

  3. Q: What if I want to install a biogas control system at a new livestock facility, where it is not required by law? How do I establish a “pre-project” manure storage baseline if the livestock facility is brand new?
    A: These projects, referred to as “greenfield” sites, must demonstrate that uncontrolled anaerobic storage (e.g. pits, lagoons) is common practice in the industry and geographic region where the facility resides.

  4. Q: Is an anaerobic digester at a poultry farm eligible?
    A: No, only swine and dairy manure are eligible waste streams. Poultry was included as a livestock category in the original performance standard analysis but it was excluded from the protocol because it is a small percentage of total livestock emissions (about 15%). The performance standard analysis did not include “business as usual” information for poultry waste management so it may not be common practice for the waste to be anaerobically treated in the baseline case, meaning that when a digester is installed and digesting poultry waste, there may not be any project emission reductions from the baseline to project case (no methane avoidance).

  5. Q: Is an anaerobic digester at a beef farm eligible?
    A: No, only swine and dairy manure are eligible waste streams. Beef farms were not included in the performance standard analysis because it was unknown whether it is common practice to anaerobically treat beef cattle waste, meaning that when a digester is installed and digesting beef cattle waste, there may not be any project emission reductions compared to the baseline (no methane avoidance).

  6. Q: My project digests manure as well as whey from the dairy operation and also food scraps from local businesses. Is it eligible?
    A: Projects that co-digest material are eligible, but credits may only be claimed for the manure methane avoidance under this protocol. To receive credit for the manure as well as other potentially eligible waste streams, you may use the Organic Waste Digestion (OWD) Project Protocol, which has provisions for credits to be calculated from both manure and other eligible co-digested waste streams.

  7. Q: With what frequency am I required to check my biogas flow meter for calibration accuracy?
    A: For projects submitted under Version 3.0, gas flow meters must be checked for calibration accuracy at the end, but no more than two months before the end, of the reporting period that is being verified. If the check shows the meter to have a drift of +/- 5%, then the meter must be re-calibrated by the manufacturer. In addition, if the meter is shown to be over-reporting by 5% or more, then all the previous data must be adjusted downward (according to guidance in Section 6 of the protocol) for the entire time period since the last successful field calibration test. Therefore, if a more frequent schedule for calibration checks is implemented, it may lessen the chance of credits lost due to drifts outside of the +/- 5% range. See Section 6.2 in Version 3.0 of the protocol for further detail.

  8. Q: Verification guidance was changed in Version 3.0 of the protocol, what are my options now?
    A: There are now three verification period options for project developers to choose from. The first is a twelve-month maximum verification period where verification occurs according to previous protocol requirements with an annual site visit. The second option is a twelve-month verification period with desktop review and site visits at two-year intervals. The third option is a twenty-four-month maximum verification period where a project’s monitoring plan and report are submitted for the twelve-month reporting period and the site-visit verification occurs after the twenty-four month timeframe. For detailed criteria that must be met under each verification option, review Section 7 and 8 of the Livestock Project Protocol Version 3.0.