Ontario farmers take final steps in bioenergy projects
By Carey Fredericks
March 1, 2010, Ottawa – Petrocorn Inc., Kirchmeier Farms and Maryland Farms have all entered the final stages of the construction of progressive biogas facilities that will use food waste, agricultural waste and manure to produce renewable energy.
The farm-based projects each involve the installation of a 1500m3 CH-Four Biogas Inc. anaerobic digester and 500-kilowatt MWM co-generation unit that together will produce enough electricity to power the equivalent of 1,500 Ontario homes.
“We at MWM Canada are very excited to be involved in Petrocorn Inc., Kirchmeier and Maryland Biogas projects”, says Derek Neill, Vice President of MWM Canada Inc. “I congratulate Mr. Henrard, Mr. Kirchmeier and Mr. Callaghan in taking the giant step to prove that farm-based biogas plants are commercially viable and sustainable in the Canadian renewable marketplace. Being a leading company with more than a thousand biogas engines installed worldwide, we are pleased to bring our experience and knowledge to these projects”.
Both systems will employ a waste storage and pre-treatment system that will allow the project to receive a wide array of on and off-farm wastes for use as system feedstock.
“These projects will take biogas technology to the next level”, says Benjamin Strehler, Vice President of CH-Four Biogas. “We are exploring the potential of these systems to integrate with other technologies and current social practices in order to make them more environmentally, socially and economically rewarding for all”.
The three projects will receive organic waste from Planet Earth Recycling, resulting in the potential diversion of up to 30,000 tons of organic waste from landfills and other traditional disposal each year.
The projects will also reduce pathogen and odour levels in manure and waste by up to 99 per cent, capture and destroy greenhouse gases, recycle nutrients so they can be used for crop growth and off-set the use of synthetic fertilizers; all while producing renewable energy.
Philippe Henrard, owner of Petrocorn Inc., is a large-scale crop producer near Plantagenet, Thomas Kirchmeier, owner of Kirchmeier Farms, is a dairy producer in St. Isidore, and Jim Callaghan, owner of Maryland Farms, is a dairy producer in Lindsay. All three farms received $400,000 of funding through the Ontario Government’s Ontario Biogas System Financial Assistance Program.