|Farm Power Co-founder Kevin Maas|
at the Rexville installation
The first anaerobic digester was built more than 150 years ago, but has not previously seen widespread use. That could be changing, for several reasons: preventing uncontrolled emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more troublesome than carbon dioxide; mitigating the mountains of manure produced by modern concentrated animal feedlot operations (CAFOs); and generating distributed local power and commercial byproducts that raise revenues and cut costs.
Farm Power Northwest is building anaerobic digesters for local dairy farmers. This week I traveled up to the Mount Vernon area and met with Kevin Maas, who, with his brother Daryl, founded and run the company. The rest of this post is mostly photos of the Rexville installation, the company's first, online since August 2009. There's lots of good links and information, as well as pictures of construction on their web site and Kevin's blog.
Puget Sound Energy's Green Power program.
Overall, the process takes a problem, excess manure, which represents a regulatory and materials management problem, reduces its bulk, produces electricity, and provides useful outputs in the form of fertilizer and animal bedding which can be used right next to where it is produced.
help preserve family farms, a critical need not just in our rural communities, but for the health and future of our nation as a whole.
Rexville Grocery. Despite it's name they also have a gas pump and a cheerful seating area for eating or lingering over espresso. Outstanding sandwiches and very friendly staff make it a delightful find worth visiting again.