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WI county moves forward with second AD

April 12, 2012  by Press release

April 12, 2012 – Dane County in the state of Wisconsin is moving forward with plans for a second cow power facility, selecting a site for the project, and entering into a new partnership for the project with major healthcare provider, Gundersen Health System, Dane County executive Joe Parisi recently announced.

Construction of the manure digester is anticipated to begin in late 2012.

Dane County and Gundersen Health System plan to join with three farm families in the Town of Springfield, just outside of the city of Middleton – the Ziegler Dairy Farm, Blue Star Dairy (owned by the Meinholz Family), and the Hensen Brothers Farm. U.S. BioGas will also join the partnership as project developer.

The digester will convert cow manure from farms into valuable energy, create jobs, and continue the county’s partnership with the county’s agriculture community to reduce phosphorus runoff to our waterways. Phosphorus is the leading cause of green algae and other weed growth in Dane County’s lakes and comes from both urban and rural sources.


More than a year ago, Dane County was the first county in the state to construct a cow powered community manure digester, located near Waunakee, WI. Approximately 60 subcontractors and suppliers and 230 workers built the first cow power project and a similar number of jobs are expected to be created for the second digester.

Madison Gas and Electric will purchase the 11 million kilowatt hours of electricity annually from the Springfield facility, enough to power approximately 1,600 homes. The electricity will be added to the local electric grid to help serve all customers.

“Converting manure into electricity not only provides a 24/7 source of renewable energy, but also helps keep algae-causing phosphorus out of our lakes,” said Greg Ziegler, a dairy farmer participating in the project.

Agreements for the community manure digester project will move forward pending approval by the Dane County Board. In addition to county board approval, the project will also need approval from the Town of Springfield and air and water permits from the WI Department of Natural Resources.


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