Dairyland Power Cooperative

Animal Waste-to-Energy

“Cow Power“

Peters Farm Digester

Dairyland Director, Planning Services, Neil Kennebeck checks out the new digester tank technology at the Peters Farm "cow power" facility in Wisconsin.

Wonderful Wisconsin Cows!

Dairyland continues to be a national leader in animal waste-to-energy, helping meet clean energy needs while resolving dairy farm waste issues.

Dairyland purchases the renewable energy produced from several anaerobic digester “cow power” facilities in Wisconsin. These facilities can power hundreds of homes with renewable energy.

As Dairyland explores ways to expand its renewable energy generation by adding to existing resources, it also supports future potential. In 2012, Dairyland began purchasing renewable energy from a manure digester plant located at a small dairy farm in its service territory. The 200 cow Peters Farm facility is unique in that it represents the first small-scale use of a manure digester system in the region.

The technology used at the Peters Farm facility was developed by a Wisconsin company, USEMCO. The successful pilot project will potentially pave the way for the siting of manure digesters at much smaller farms, hopefully expanding the quantity of such operations in future years.

How does animal waste-to-energy work?

Dairy cow manure is the resource to generate renewable energy. The manure is collected and heated, creating the natural byproduct of methane gas. That biogas is the fuel used to power the generators and create electricity.

Renewable energy & environmental stewardship

The manure digester process has additional environmental benefits, reducing animal waste problems associated with manure disposal on farms. The odor is greatly reduced, and weed seeds and pathogens are killed during the digestion process, thus lessening the need for herbicides and pesticides on the farm. Another useful byproduct is bedding that can be used in the dairy, or sold by the farmer.

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A Touchstone Energy Cooperative