DF-AP, LLC: 2012 Center for Advanced Energy Studies/Idaho National Laboratory Award for Outstanding Achievement in Energy
An innovative approach reveals new possibilities for digesters on dairy farms
Dean Foods Company and AgPower Partners (DF-AP) teamed up with Big Sky West Dairy in Gooding, Idaho, to install a manure digester system funded entirely by private sector financing. The project team created viable new revenue streams for digester products to deliver positive returns for the dairy producer and investors, while preserving air and water quality.
By bringing in experts to secure financing, operate the digester and sell the energy to utility companies, the project eliminates the risk for the dairy producer and frees up time for the farm managers to focus on what they do best: caring for the animals and producing high quality milk.
Manure is combined with organic waste from a local retailer to power the digester and create 1.2 megawatts of electricity, which is sold to Idaho Power. The digester provides enough energy for approximately 900 homes. The digester also produces 55,000 cubic yards of ammonia-free fiber that is sold as landscape fertilizer and used as high quality no-cost bedding for the cows. Liquids from the digester also can be applied as a natural fertilizer to crops, providing additional cost savings for the dairy.
Leveraging their learnings from the development of the business model, DF-AP has worked with the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and EPA AgStar to share project results and lessons learned with others.
A Visit to DF-AP, LLC
During a recent visit, DF-AP, LLC shared how its innovative business model is delivering a win-win outcome near Gooding, Idaho.