BioCycle February 2011, Vol. 52, No. 2, p. 15
Dane County, Wisconsin
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Ripp’s Dairy Valley farm, White Gold Dairy and Richard Endres Farm. The digester was designed and built by Clear Horizons LLC in Milwaukee, which will also own and operate the facility. Construction began in August 2010. Nearly $2 million/year worth of electricity will be produced, enough to power 2,500 homes. The three 1-million gallon digester tanks each take about two weeks to initially fill. The Vienna facility is expected to begin producing electricity for sale to Alliant Energy in February.
Four dairy farm families in the Town of Springfield, Wisconsin are working with the county and Clear Horizons to develop a second digester which will also be built and operated by Clear Horizons. The company is working with the county and the four town of Springfield farms to develop a design and schedule and identify the best site and layout.
Dane County (population 453,000) is Wisconsin’s second largest county. Its $700-million dairy industry, which employs 4,000 people, includes 400 dairy farms that milk 50,000 cows. Those farms produce more than two billion pounds of manure annually. The digesters are designed to remove most of the phosphorus in the manure, which will reduce algae-growth and pollution in local lakes and streams. Total costs of building and installing the two digesters is approximately $24 million. The state of Wisconsin is providing $3.3 million for each project; the remainder is being funded by Clear Horizons."
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