January 21, 2020 by Manure Manager
Brightmark Energy (BE), a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, has partnered with four central Florida dairy farms to construct three anaerobic digesters, which BE will develop, own and operate. The four dairy farms, located in Okeechobee County, are owned by the Larson family – two by Larson Dairy Inc., and the other two by JM Larson Inc.
The project will convert 230,000 tons of dairy manure per year from 9,900 cows into renewable natural gas (RNG), reducing the net greenhouse gas emissions from processed dairy manure at a rate of 57,400 metric tons per year, the equivalent of planting 75,000 acres of forest each year.
“We’re proud to partner with the Larson family, who have a long history as dairy industry leaders in Florida,” BE CEO Bob Powell said. “Projects like these help to provide additional revenue streams for farmers, reduce local air and water impacts and enhance the sustainability efforts of farmers, so this project is a win for the farmers and the local community.”
BE has launched several biogas projects in the past two years, with active projects in Washington, Wisconsin and New York, and with intentions to develop similar biogas projects across the U.S. When the Larson project becomes operational at the end of 2021, BE’s biogas projects will generate enough RNG to drive a bus more than 16-million miles each year.
State officials are pleased with the collaboration, noting the benefits of innovation and the potential new revenue source for the local dairy community.
Participating farmer Woody Larson said, “Brightmark Energy has been a good partner in the development of this project. We are glad the technology and economics are coming together to support our environmental and sustainability goals.” Larson added, “Cows are the ultimate recyclers, creating wholesome milk from byproducts of the citrus, ethanol, brewing and textile industries. This technology now also allows us to convert manure to energy and improve the environment.”
While the Larson family are the first partners on the project, BE is looking to collaborate with other Florida dairy farmers interested in biogas production. For more information on partnering with BE in Florida, contact Colin Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.