Oakridge Dairy Farm in Ellington is the first farm in Connecticut to install a methane digester, which converts manure into natural gas - but how will it work?
"Methane Digester is really just a big giant tank. We’re trying to replicate the cow's stomach to get the remainder of energy she ate and turn it into a gas" said Seth Bahler, owner of Oakridge Dairy Farm.
"So a cow eats about 100 pounds of food a day and roughly 75% of that energy in that food is used for keeping her healthy and happy producing milk. Now the other 25% passes through into the manure. That manure will then go to the methane digester," he said.
From there, the team will pull the gas off the top of the methane digester, putting it through a process where it’s cleaned and will be put into a tanker which will be filled with natural compressed gas every other day.
"So it takes about 21 days from the cow pooping to converting it into natural gas," Bahler said.
The renewable energy will be put into a pipeline to run in homes and cars. It will provide enough fuel to power 800 to 900 cars for a year.
Not only is it a big deal for the state, but it will also help generate revenue for the farm.
"It’s a big deal for our industry it helps Connecticut farmers. There’s another source of income but also reducing the amount of carbon and the amount of methane in the air. It’s a big deal because our industry is really working to become carbon neutral," Bahler said.
This comes at a time when farms are facing hardships due to the tax increase on diesel that goes into effect Friday.
The construction of the digester will be completed and up in running in October.