Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Californian Dairy Farm AD Project Trialblazes US Net Metering

After finding this delightful farm web site I just had to tell you all about it! To be honest I don't know how recent or how newsworthy this is, but this site puts the argument perfectly for installing fairly low-tech tarped lagoon type AD Plants on farms very well. It also seems that issues had to be resolved before the power supply out into the local grid was obtained.

Here is an introduction from their site to explain what this farm did to become more sustainable:

No Greenhouse Gases Here!!

We Power The Dairy With Methane From Our Cows

It’s true!

After a 5-year process, we’re now creating electricity with our methane digester. The digester captures naturally occurring gas from manure and converts it into electricity. With this new system, we’re generating up to 300,000 kilowatt-hours per year. That is about $40,000 a year!

More importantly, tarping manure ponds eliminates the release of methane (a natural by-product of manure) into the air. According to the 2003 U.S. Department of Energy Report on Greenhouse Gases, agricultural sources, primarily animal waste, account for approximately three percent of greenhouse gas emissions.

A dairy cow can generate 120 lbs. of waste each day, totalling about 40,000 lbs. per year!

Solids separated from the waste are composted and reused as fertilizer, providing additional, far-reaching benefits.

The project received a 50 percent grant from the California Energy Commission. Ours is the first system to take advantage of regulations of “net metering”. Net metering allows Straus to run meters in reverse and also offset other electrical usage from other meters at the farm and the creamery.

More at The Straus Family Creamery web site.

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