Multiple dairy digester projects underway in Michigan
Brightmark is partnering with five Michigan dairy farms to capture renewable natural gas from anaerobic digesters.
Founder and CEO of the global waste solutions company Bob Powell tells Brownfield the projects have been a work in progress for the past several years and will span seven locations in West Michigan.
“Our ability to help with greenhouse gases has a great environmental impact on our communities in Michigan and the greenhouse gas reduction for the seven farms is the equivalent of planting over 179,000 acres of forest each year,” he shares.
Powell says manure has been underutilized on farms because of technology cost barriers.
“We have not deployed anaerobic digesters to take the manures at a scale that made sense,” he says. “In the last five to six years, with the support of the federal and some states as well, we’ve really seen an acceleration of the deployment of anaerobic digestion technology.”
He says the closed-loop system takes manure directly from barns and puts it into digesters for about three weeks while methane is captured, cleaned, pressurized, and pumped into natural gas pipelines. After processing, the solids can be used for fertilizer or bedding material and the water is reprocessed to be used again on the dairy.
He says several projects are also expected to be completed this year including in Iowa, South Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Chevron purchases and markets the renewable energy produced by the Brightmark dairy digester joint ventures.