DALLAS — Dean Foods Company has begun development of an anaerobic digester on the Big Sky Dairy farm near Gooding, Idaho.
The anaerobic digester will capture animal waste from the farm’s approximately 4,700 dairy cows, reducing both odors and emissions of methane gas into the atmosphere.
The resulting captured methane will then be used to generate electricity.
On line in 2009
The project, which is expected to be operational by early 2009, will be owned and operated by a partnership between Dean Foods and AgPower Partners.
Could power 650 homes
The Big Sky Dairy digester project is expected to have generation capacity of more than 1 megawatt per hour of renewable “green” power, which will be sold into the local power grid and should provide enough renewable energy annually to power approximately 650 homes.
In addition, the digester will produce a sanitary fiber by-product that can be used as clean animal bedding or as organic soil enhancement.
By reducing emissions of methane, the digester could also generate carbon credits and renewable energy credits.