Manure Manager

Features Applications Beef
Cargill’s 2nd Idaho dairy digester running


March 30, 2010
By Manure Manager

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March 30, 2010, Jerome, ID
– An Idaho dairy farm is illustrating how environmental innovation can
simultaneously help solve problems as global as climate change and as local as
livestock manure.


March 30, 2010, Jerome, ID
– An Idaho dairy farm is illustrating how environmental innovation can
simultaneously help solve problems as global as climate change and as local as
livestock manure.

A Cargill built and
operated anaerobic digester on the Bettencourt Dairy B6 Farm is now converting
manure from the farm’s 6,000 cows into one million kilowatt-hours of
electricity per month. The electricity is sold to the local power grid.

“We’re proud to be
creating a renewable source of electricity,” said Bettencourt chief financial
officer Rick Onaindia. “Our digesters are also helping us reduce overall
operating costs.”

The anaerobic digester
from Cargill’s environmental finance group operates by feeding manure into a
large, sealed, in-ground, oxygen-free vessel. Bacteria break down the waste
creating methane biogas. The gas is then captured and burned in a series of
generators, which produce electricity that is sent to the grid.

The project builds on
another Cargill anaerobic digester operating since 2008 on another 10,000-cow
Bettencourt Dairy farm nearby.

Along with generating
enough renewable electricity to power approximately 1,100 U.S. homes per month,
the project will also generate carbon credits from reduced methane emissions in
the atmosphere. Cargill is currently in the process of selling the first 28,000
tons of emission offsets generated by the initial Bettencourt Dairy digester.
At peak capacity that digester is expected to produce 1.3 million kilowatt-hours
of electricity a month, enough to power approximately 1,400 U.S. homes.

The two Bettencourt Dairy
digester projects and a third digester project on a 5,500-cow dairy near Idaho
Falls are a part of a broader initiative by Cargill Global Emissions that seeks
to enhance direct participation in renewable energy projects to establish and
grow its renewable energy based trading business.


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