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Monday, December 8, 2008

Clark Electric Coop adds cow power

From a media release issued by Dairyland Power Cooperative:

LA CROSSE, WI— Dairyland Power Cooperative has signed an agreement with the
Norm-E-Lane Dairy Farm to purchase the energy and capacity from their anaerobic digester “cow power” facility located in Clark County (Chili, Wis.). Norm-E-Lane is owned by the Meissner family, members of Clark Electric Cooperative.

The facility at the 2,000-cow Norm-E-Lane Dairy Farm is expected to generate about
500 kilowatts of renewable energy, capable of powering 336 homes throughout Dairyland’s four-state service area.

Cow manure is collected and heated in the digester tank, a process that creates methane gas. This biogas fuels a large engine to produce renewable electricity. The process also has additional environmental side benefits, reducing animal waste problems associated with manure disposal on farms. Odor is nearly eliminated, and weed seeds and pathogens are killed during the digestion process, thus reducing the need for herbicides and pesticides on the farm. Also, a useful byproduct is bedding that can be used in the dairy.

Norm-E-Lane is the fourth dairy farm providing “cow power” to members in the Dairyland system. “We continue to seek opportunities to expand our renewable resources and appreciate working with the Meissner family and Clark Electric to bring this environmentally-friendly energy resource to our members,” said Bill Berg, Dairyland President and CEO.

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