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9/18/2010: When it comes to reliable renewable energy for the dairy state of Wisconsin, what part of Manure Digester don't you understand?

NOTE FROM THE BPWI RESEARCH NERD: Though not as noticable or photogenic as a 500 foot tall wind turbine, manure digesters in Wisconsin are reliable, efficient, and solve several serious environmental problems while generating electriciy for surrounding homes.

What's wrong with this picture? Bucky says, Nothing at all!



SOURCE: Green Bay Press Gazette

September 18, 2010

By Leigh Ann Wagner Kroening

"All the methane our cows produce is being captured, destroyed and put to good use," Niles said. "We're excited about the green power and the benefits to our environment."

 Operating a 2,800-cow dairy operation right on the border of Door and Kewaunee counties has offered Don Niles an opportunity to view the differences between both communities and the residents who live in them. 

   "I think the folks to our north kind of look down on us," Niles said. "They think we're very blue collar, small-town people. The reality is we're producers, and they're consumers, and I think that's a good thing."

In addition to the milk provided by his Dairy Dreams farm in the town of Lincoln, Niles is producing something his farming counterparts to the north are not — a renewable source of energy that provides power for about 600 homes. He recently installed a $3.2-million methane digester, which supplies energy for the grid owned by Wisconsin Public Service.

"All the methane our cows produce is being captured, destroyed and put to good use," Niles said. "We're excited about the green power and the benefits to our environment."

The recent addition of the digester in Lincoln brings the total number of homes powered by renewable energy sources in Kewaunee County to nearly 8,000. The number of households in Kewaunee County according to the 2000 Census was 7,623 and according to projections from that survey, that number now likely also is close to 8,000.

"I think it's amazing and pretty impressive that one of the smallest counties in Wisconsin really is ahead of the game in the production of green energy," Niles said. "I think that's a positive thing for our community."

The first bulk sources of green energy were introduced to the county in 1999 with the construction of 31 wind turbines. WPS owns 14 in the town of Lincoln, and Madison Gas and Electric owns 17 in the towns of Lincoln and Red River.

The energy companies pursued the projects in order to comply with state law, which at that time required them to garner at least 10 percent of their total energy production from renewable sources, said Kerry Spees, a spokesperson for WPS.

"That area of Kewaunee County was an ideal location for turbines," Spees said. "It's a windy area not heavily populated with large tracts of farmland. The proximity to our substations also played a part because we didn't have to install a lot of infrastructure to get that energy to our grid."

Posted on Saturday, September 18, 2010 at 10:42AM by Registered CommenterThe BPRC Research Nerd | Comments Off

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