Western N.Y. dairy farms join biogas generation project - Smart Energy Decisions

GHG Emissions, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 20, 2020

Western N.Y. dairy farms join biogas generation project

Six dairy farms in Western New York are joining a biogas generation project that is expected to produce about 305,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas each year.

The “Yellowjacket” project, as it has been dubbed, is being implemented by Brightmark, a San Francisco-based waste to energy development company. As part of the process, Brightmark will extract methane from 265,000 gallons of dairy manure per day and then convert it into renewable natural gas and other useful products.

The farms participating include:

  • Boxler Dairy Farm – Varysburg, Wyoming County
  • Lamb Lakeshore Dairy – Wilson, Niagara County
  • Lamb Farms – Oakfield, Genesee County
  • Lawnhurst – Stanley, Ontario County
  • Swiss Valley Farms – Warsaw, Wyoming County
  • Zuber Farms – Byron, Genesee County

Another aspect of these partnerships is the upgrading of the farms’ anaerobic digesters equipment, which previously produced electricity that was used on-site and by the local electric grid. Brightmark will upgrade these digesters with technology that cleans the methane gas and converts it to RNG that can be used in heating or transportation and then injected into a local interstate gas pipeline.

"We're really committed to protecting the environment and doing what’s best for the local community,” Don Jensen, owner of Lawnhurst Farms, said in a statement. “We are excited to have the opportunity to partner with Brightmark to convert from generating electricity to producing RNG. This process will greatly reduce operational costs and with this technology increase the return on our investment.”

Four of the farms have previously participated in their biogas projects and two have been recently added to their list of partner farms. Additionally, Brightmark has partnered with 17 dairy farms total in five states over the past two years on biogas generation projects. This will be their largest project to date and gas upgrade equipment is expected to be installed across all of the farms by early 2021.

The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority will be providing initial project planning funding.

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