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Brightmark Energy embarks on dairy biogas project

San Francisco-based waste and energy development company Brightmark Energy has launched a dairy waste to biogas project in Washington, US.

Located in Yakima County, the project will convert 150,000 gallons per day of dairy waste from 7,000 cows into 160,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas (RNG), according to the company.

The project is being developed by Augean Renewable Natural Gas, which is a collaboration between Brightmark Energy, Promus Energy and DeRuyter Dairies.

Biogas will be produced using DeRuyter’s anaerobic digester, which will be fuelled by cow manure. The raw biogas will be cleaned, upgraded and compressed into pipeline quality RNG, before being transported through new pipeline infrastructure in Yakima County and injected into the Williams NW regional gas transmission line to be sold as fuel for vehicles.

“Brightmark specialises in energy technologies that turn waste into productive, sustainable energy solutions,” said CEO Bob Powell. “We are working to develop similar projects across the country to help dairy farmers mitigate the regulatory and environmental concerns associated with waste management, while transforming manure management from a cost centre to a profit centre.”

Using investment from Brightmark, DeRuyter will upgrade its manure collection system and digester to increase capacity and reduce water use. The dairy expects savings of over half a million dollars annually in operating and environmental compliance costs.

“On day one after the digester upgrades were complete, we were out there emptying manure ponds to turn that waste back into useful products and to recycle nutrients,” added Dan DeRuyter, co-owner of DeRuyter Dairies. “We’re glad for the opportunity to lead the way for others in the industry in this arena.”

The project has received additional funding in the form of a $1.4 million (€1.23 million) grant from Yakima County, as well as a $500,000 (€441,714) Rural Energy for American Program grant from the US Department of Agriculture.

“After years of working with Promus and the dairies, Yakima County is pleased to provide a matching grant for the pipeline system, which sets the stage for dairy digester projects that convert waste into value-added renewable products that improve environmental, economic, and community health," said Mike Leita, chair of the Yakima County Board of Commissioners.

According to Brightmark, the company is developing similar biogas projects across the US, including in New York, Wisconsin, Florida and Minnesota.





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