A 300-cow dairy in Eagle Mills, N.Y. has invested in fuel cells to generate clean energy and reduce its utility bill.

The fuel cells use a chemical reaction to create electricity. Since the process does not involve combustion the only byproducts of the process include heat, water vapor and some carbon dioxide.

The fuel cells at Wagner Farms use liquefied petroleum gas for fuel. During the process, the cells extract hydrogen from the propane before it enters the fuel cell stack where electricity is produced. The fuel cell at Wagner Farms came online in February and has been producing more than enough energy to heat the milking parlor. It has operated for 2,000 hours and has generated approximately 4,800 kilowatt-hours of electricity.

Fuel cells are considered a clean, efficient form of energy production — even more efficient than traditional methods used to produce electricity. And, in his state of the state address New York Governor George Pataki announced the goal of “making New York the world leader in clean energy technologies” and less dependent on foreign oil. Fuel cells are one of the many technologies the governor has asked citizens of the state to consider in order to work toward that goal.

PRNewswire, The Business Review