Wind Power, Biogas Fuel Livestock Facility

Pigs never looked so friendly before. Environmentally friendly that is. Colorado Pork, a concentrated animal feeding operation in Lamar, Colorado, has wind energy and waste to energy technology at the facility to help power the company’s operations.

A 65 kW re-commissioned wind turbine is the most recent renewable energy technology at the company, and was installed with help from the Governor’s Office of Energy Management and Conservation (OEMC). Lamar is an excellent location for a wind turbine, according to the OEMC because the average wind speed is over 13 miles per hour. Colorado’s largest wind farm, with 162 MW of wind turbines, is located about 25 miles south of Lamar, and the Town of Lamar has installed 6 MW of wind power nearby. “OEMC is actively pursuing the benefits of using wind in hybrid projects, and is beginning a research project to produce hydrogen from wind,” said Rick Grice, executive director of OEMC. “Based on the results of that project, we hope to show farmers how they can produce hydrogen from wind to sell or to power some farm vehicles.” OEMC and Colorado Pork measured wind energy feasibility for a year under the anemometer loan program offered through the government office. Eight anemometers are rotated through the program to different sites for gathering wind data specific for small wind power development. Energy Maintenance Service (EMS) installed the refurbished Vestas E15 wind turbine for Colorado Pork. Total installed cost, including all electrical connections, is about $85,000 and OEMC estimates a payback of 8 to 10 years. With no credit for peak reduction, the wind turbine should generate about $11,000 worth of electricity per year for Colorado Pork. OEMC funded this project to provide a demonstration, which could be highlighted in educational workshops throughout the agricultural community. OEMC plans to create a video explaining small wind power and the installation of this turbine for onsite power generation. Also, the extensive educational resources on Colorado Pork’s CHP system, which is run on the biogas created from the pig manure, will be updated to include information on the wind turbine.
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