Cow Power: From Waste to Watts

Farm visitors joined Denise Barstow of Barstow’s Longview Farm on a tour of the Anaerobic Digester facility for the Dairy Month Lecture Series on Sunday, June 17!

In case you missed it, we have this short recap for you:

  • Barstow’s Anaerobic Digester takes the energy potential in food waste and cow manure and turns it into enough renewable electricity to power 1,600 homes.
  • Food producers like Cabot AgriMark, HP Hood, Coca Cola, Whole Foods, and others bring their feedstock to the digester.
  • Cow manure and food waste are joined together in the digester which works a lot like a cow stomach.  The waste is heated and moved around while microbes break the material down.
  • Methane gas combusts in an engine to produce 7,000MWh of electricity annually.
  • Barstow’s sell that electricity to the grid, and the Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are sold to the Cabot AgriMark processing plant in West Springfield, MA.
  • The now digested food waste and cow manure (digestate) is used to fertilize the farm’s 450 acres of farmland as a chemical free fertilizer.
  • A heat recovery unit captures heat from the two engines to be used to heat the digester, the hot water in the barns, and 8 homes. 
  • The facility removes greenhouse gases equivalent to 3 cars per cow – or 85% of all the methane on the farm!

Questions?  Barstow’s is honored to be an educational resource for our community.  Always feel free to reach out with your dairy and agriculture questions on our Contact Page.

Join us for the Dairy Month Lecture Series every Sunday in June!

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