Partnership with Farmers and Manufacturers Eliminates Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Farm Water Runoff
Middleton, Wis. – EnTech Solutions and Northern Biogas LLC have formed a joint venture committed to providing a sustainable energy future utilizing local agriculture. EnTech Solutions is adding to its clean energy solutions portfolio with the acquisition of an active biogas facility in the Town of Springfield, Dane County, Wisconsin. Utilizing anaerobic digestion, the facility will turn organic waste from local dairy farms into renewable energy.
In addition to creating renewable energy, the facility boasts the dual benefit of diverting wastewater from the surrounding watershed.
“Our process optimizes nutrient management while decreasing greenhouse gas emissions,” explained Scott Romenesko, President of EnTech Solutions. “We’re leveraging Northern Biogas’ experience in wastewater treatment and agriculture by working with farmers to improve nutrient separation and utilization from manure and other organic waste while producing a renewable energy product.”
Converting Farm Waste into Clean Energy
To date, three farm families in the Yahara River watershed have partnered with EnTech Solutions on the project: Blue Star Dairy Middleton LLC, Hensen Brothers Farm and Ziegler Dairy, all located near Middleton, Wisconsin. Manure from more than 3,000 cows collectively is processed in three air-tight digester tanks. The tank temperatures are maintained at about 100 degrees Fahrenheit, creating an environment where microbes thrive and consume the volatile solids in the manure while producing methane gas (biogas).
Biogas Energy Solution
Instead of releasing that methane into the atmosphere, the biogas is currently captured at the top of the digester and combusted in generators to create about 16 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. In the near future, that same methane will be processed into Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) to offset dependence on fossil-fuel based natural gas, reducing emissions by more than 11,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. (Learn more about the differences between natrual gas and RNG)
“This partnership looks to be a real benefit for our farms,” said Art Meinholz, co-owner of Blue Star Dairy Farms. “The new owners have plans to improve management of the nutrients coming into the digester.
“This partnership plan should allow Dane County’s investment in the Springfield Clean Water, which is after the actual digester process, to operate more efficiently to discharge clean water from the farm waste,” Meinholz said. “This also allows each of the farms to manage their nutrient plans around this, the watershed and surrounding areas which is incredibly positive for our community. It is a win for everyone, and it is exciting to be a part of this project.”
EnTech Solutions plans to make the Middleton Biogas site carbon neutral by installing a microgrid to power the electrical demand of the facility. EnTech Solutions provides end-to-end microgrid development, installation and optimization.
“We are well on our way to entering the Renewable Natural Gas industry with this process,” said Paul Kane, Group Leader for Sustainable Fuels at EnTech Solutions. “By the end of 2021 we will be able to turn organic waste into gas to replace traditional vehicle fuels through a net carbon-negative process.”
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Northern Biogas LLC
Northern Biogas provides custom design, construction, and operation services for anaerobic digestion systems, converting livestock manure, feed waste, food waste and other energy substrates into renewable energy. Formed by a group of Civil and Environmental Engineers with decades of wastewater treatment experience and former dairy producers, Northern Biogas has the experience to provide a reliable digestion system that greatly complements farm operations.