Innovative Columbia Borough Digester Plan Gets $1.7M In State Funding

Columbia Borough’s plan to develop what’s believed to be the first biogas production site of its kind in Pennsylvania has gotten crucial state support.

The Commonwealth Financing Authority last week approved a $1.7 million funding package for the venture, which could cost up to $3.5 million.

The state package consists of a $1,449,952 loan and a $300,000 grant from the authority’s Alternative and Clean Energy program.

Columbia Borough intends to build an anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant that would use food waste, delivered by truck from area food-processing plants and other sources.

Read more:

http://lancasteronline.com/business/local_business/innovative-columbia-borough-digester-plan-gets-m-in-state-funding/article_c2be3eb2-fe26-11e4-a8aa-77ab18e7e403.html

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Turning Cow Dung Into Electricity

Picture 487Dairy farmer Ron Koetsier’s 1,200 cows produce roughly 90 tons of manure daily, and for the last three decades, he has tried unsuccessfully to turn the stinky dung into energy to power his 450-acre farm in Visalia.

He installed a nearly $1-million renewable energy system in 1985 that used the methane from manure to create electricity for his farm.  In 2002, he replaced that system with newer technology, but he hit a snag when air-quality standards called for expensive retrofits to reduce air pollution; he eventually shut down the system in 2009.

In a few weeks, however, Koetsier’s renewable-energy efforts will get a reboot as a new company replaces his current system with one that is expected to satisfy strict air standards in the highly polluted San Joaquin Valley.

A decade or so ago, dozens of California dairy farmers built million-dollar systems called methane digesters that convert manure into power.  Then, unexpected pollution problems, regulatory roadblocks and low rates of return killed most such digester systems, leaving only a handful in operation.

Read more:  http://www.mcall.com/news/nationworld/la-fi-dairy-digester-20130609,0,2083458.story