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Thursday, January 7, 2010

Dairyland Power expands renewable energy resources

From a news release issued by Dairland Power:

LA CROSSE, WI— Dairyland Power Cooperative has signed an agreement with Bach Digester LLC to purchase the energy and capacity from a new anaerobic digester “cow power” facility located in Clark County (Dorchester, Wis.). Steven Bach, owner of BachDigester LLC is a member of Taylor Electric Cooperative.

The facility at the 1,200-cow dairy farm is expected to generate about 300 kilowatts of renewable energy, capable of powering 219 average 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, minimizing animal waste problems associated with manure disposal on farms. The odor is reduced, and weed seeds and pathogens are killed during the digestion process, thus lessening the need for herbicides and pesticides on the farm. Another useful byproduct is bedding that can be used in the dairy.

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