Cultivating Renewable Energy

Cultivating Renewable Energy

Cultivating Renewable Energy. I’m Greg Martin as Line On Agriculture presents the Harvest Clean Energy Report.

Dean Foor, Project Engineer and owner of Essential Consulting Oregon is on the front of an emerging business trend working with farming operations to study whether adding some kind of bio-technology is right both technically and financially.

FOOR: The bio-gas segment throughout the Pacific Northwest has tremendous potential and what we’ve seen is that it has been limited by an understanding of what it takes to build the projects. In particular the project management required to move them from the feasibility stage to the operations stage.

Foor says probably the biggest factor is whether a project is financially viable.

FOOR: Anaerobic digestion is technically viable in many, many situations particularly on dairy farms and at food processors however it can be challenging to make it financially viable to a point that it’s attractive enough for an individual or an investor of types to pursue it and so the limitation has been determining just how financially viable the projects are.

Manure projects alone don’t necessarily fit that bill but when you add in things like food processor residues it can easily become viable. He says they have been working with Stahlbush Island Farms of Corvallis, Oregon.

FOOR: The results of the feasibility study later in 2007 showed that it was not only technically but financially viable and that it would adhere to or come close to meeting the financial hurdles that were required of Stahlbush Island Farms to pursue the project.

That operation farms over 5000 acres of fruits and vegetables.

FOOR: It’s at about 70% or so of its total design capacity. That is the project was built to be able to consume up to 150 tons a day of fruit and vegetable waste and its slow building up to that total design capacity. The gas quality is very high, there’s roughly 60% gas quality. That is the methane content of the bio-gas is at 60%

For additional information on clean energy, visit That’s today’s Line On Agriculture. I’m Greg Martin on the Northwest Ag Information Network.


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