Results encourage dairies to invest in biogas

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A New York dairy farmer who has seen the benefits of having a small biogas digester is teaming with investors and other area farmers to run the biggest biogas project in the state.

John Noble will use a biogas digester by Synergy Biogas to turn 425 tons of manure and food waste into as much as 10,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per day. The digester produces energy which is sold to the state’s wholesale power market to power up to 1,000 homes.

Noble, a sixth-generation dairy farmer with a 1,850-cow dairy, expects the new equipment to cut the farm’s operating costs by as much as $100,000 per year and solve waste management issues. The equipment uses manure from the dairy and other waste to produce gas to power a biogas engine producing electricity.

Francis Murray, the president and chief executive officer of the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, hopes to see government support so more dairies invest in biogas digesters. Murray said digesters could cut greenhouse gas emissions from the state’s dairies by 25 percent while powering up to 900,000 homes.

The digester on Noble’s farm received more than $4.5 million in incentives.

Buffalo News reports the biogas digester will cut carbon dioxide emissions from the dairy farm by 8,500 tons, equivalent to 1,700 automobiles.

In addition to cutting waste disposal costs, the digester will produces 17,500 cubic yards of bedding material for Noble to use for his cows.



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