Oregon Turns Dairy Waste Into Renewable Energy

by | Jan 14, 2008

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A new initiative from Energy Trust of Oregon could enable the state’s 320 dairy farms to become generators of renewable power for local utilities, according to this press release.  Dairy farms that install anaerobic digesters can receive cash incentives to turn manure into biogas and generate green electricity.Because biomass electricity generation projects vary widely, it is difficult to calculate energy generation levels, project cost and incentive payments.  Therefore, Energy Trust has developed an on-line spreadsheet tool “that can give a dairy a ballpark estimate of the funding available, based on the number of cows, the type of digester they’re considering and the local electric utility,” said Adam Serchuk of Energy Trust.

Certain stipulations do apply.  For instance, the program is available only to Oregon dairy farms that have a minimum of 250 animals, and the power digested must be sold to the local utility.

Last year in California, a commission detailed a report on how dairy farms could reduce emissions.  The Environmental Credit Corporation has been involved in a program to install manure lagoon covers.

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