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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Melrose dairy modernizes with energy efficiency in mind

From a news release issued by Focus on Energy:

Madison, Wis. (March 24, 2010) – Focus on Energy, Wisconsin's statewide program for energy efficiency and renewable energy, in partnership with Xcel Energy, awarded Pfaffs Prairie Dairy in Melrose $25,000 to install high-performance, energy-efficient equipment throughout the farm.

“I knew that I had to change something. Our stanchion barn was obsolete and if I didn’t modernize, I would have to get out of dairying,” said Tom Pfaff, owner of PfaffsPrairie Dairy. “I like the animals too much, and I wanted to be able to hand the farm over to my kids if they want to go into farming.”

With technical expertise and financial incentives from Focus and Xcel Energy, the Pfaffs builta new free-stall barn and installed high-velocity low speed (HVLS) fans, heat recovery, a water heater, a heat exchanger on the pipeline, and waterers. The equipment will save the dairy more than 188,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity and 10 kilowatts in demand reduction annually—enough energy to power 20 homes for a year. The farm will also benefit from an estimated $18,000 savings on its energy bills
each year.

“The free-stall design takes advantage of natural ventilation and the cows enjoy a constant supply of fresh air,” said Pfaff. “When we do need the fans, they can move the air and you don’t even know they are on.”

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