New York Farm Installs $1.5 M Anaerobic Digester

Sheland Farms in Ellisburg, New York recently completed installing the North Country’s first anaerobic digester. The digester will produce heat and electricity by converting waste manure into renewable energy at the 500-plus cow farm.

“The ability to utilize waste product to produce energy and heat creates a win-win situation for both the farmer and the environment. The digester raises the farm’s profitability by reducing energy costs, while at the same time, contributes to improving the environment in and around the farm,” said Senator Jim Wright, Chairman of the Senate Energy Committee. “I am hopeful that this project will act as a successful model for farmers throughout the state who may be interested in utilizing this technology.”

Funding for the $1.5 million project includes: $438,000 from the NYS Energy & Research Development Authority; $366,810 from the Empire State Development Corporation; $200,000 from Jefferson County Industrial Development Agency; and $358,581 from US Department of Agriculture Rural Development.

“With the help of state programs and aid, our dairy farmers are able to utilize innovative technologies on their farms, such as anaerobic digesters, that they may not otherwise be able to afford,” said Patrick Hooker, Commissioner of New York State Ag & Markets.

The digester uses 75% of the farm’s manure to produce methane gas, which is treated to remove hydrogen sulfate and excess moisture and is used to power the cogeneration engine. The cogeneration engine will supply much of the farm’s electricity and supplement its heat.

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