Source: New Energy One news release
One of Idaho’s largest dairies plans to incorporate an anaerobic digester project that will connect multiple dairy sites to a centralized location.
Bettencourt Dairies will own and operate the project as part of its three Rock Creek Dairy operations near Filer, Idaho. The three operations milk a combined total of 9,300 cows.
The digester project is seeking final approval from the Twin Falls County Planning and Zoning Commission. The renewable energy infrastructure has already received PUC approval.
New Energy One, LLC is leading efforts to build, maintain and manage the digester. The firm is working with Idaho Power to ensure that the project eventually delivers enough power to provide electricity to 1,000 homes. New Energy One says the project will convert manure into renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gases and provide a number of efficiencies that will benefit both the dairy and the local environment.
The Rock Creek Dairy project is believed to be the fourth digester to go into Idaho’s Magic Valley in the past few years and the first digester taking effluent from multiple sites, says Bob Naerebout, executive director of Idaho Dairymen’s Association.
While anaerobic digesters are already converting manure to renewable energy on dairies across the nation, the Rock Creek Dairy project plans to connect multiple sites, in a community dairy model, to a centralized location. New Energy One says integrating anaerobic digesters can tremendously improve efficiencies throughout dairy operations at multiple touch points, from using heat generated from the conversion process to repurposing land previously dedicated to storing compost.
"Converting waste into energy minimizes our environmental impact and provides a consistent source of renewable energy that can be distributed to our surrounding communities," said Bettencourt Chief Financial Officer Rick Onaindia. "The true value of this project is its ability to serve as a model for the Idaho dairy industry for long-term sustainability, both from an environmental and business perspective. The success of this project could provide the template for a community of dairies to partner on a similar project that benefits everyone involved.”