Dairy Renewable Project

Dairy Renewable Project

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

What happens when you have a good thing going but you suddenly realize it could be a whole lot better? Leif Elgethun, Director of Business Development for Site Based Energy has been working with a northwest dairy on their operations energy usage and savings.

ELGETHUN: The dairy is Ballard Family Dairy and Cheese. They are a dairy and a small artisan cheese maker. They specialize in cheddar, feta and Halloumi and they actually make their cheese right there on site at the dairy. When we went in a did an energy audit on their dairy we found out that they were using really inefficient lighting, they had a very inefficient steam boiler to pasteurize their milk and they were also using single phase power and fixed speed motors on all their pumps and chillers.

Elgethun says they noticed all these things were really adding a lot to the overall expenditures of the business.

ELGETHUN: And so we worked with the owner, Steve Ballard, to come up with a integrated, energy efficiency improvement and added renewable energy in the form of solar thermal into the system as well to not only to reduce his energy use but supplement it with renewable solar power. And at the same time we are going to be automating a lot of his heating needs for the pasteurization of the milk before he makes his cheese

Not only will the operation save money but the automation makes it easier to run.

ELGETHUN: We are estimating that he is going to save about $20-thousand dollars a year on his project and energy savings. We are estimating the project cost after al of the incentives and rebates from utility and everything else that is going to be coming back to him will cost about $100-thousand dollars. Which means that his payback on this system, simple payback is about 5-years.

That means in just 5 short years the operation will be getting basically an extra $20-thousand dollar a year bonus. Not bad for a short time investment. Elgethun says anyone interested should get the ball rolling now.

ELGETHUN: Contact their local USDA Rural Development office. A lot of times they can get them started on finding somebody that is out there that can do audits. Also the RC&D’s the contractors that are out there in their area that can get them started on that process. What I would definitely recommend to people is that they really value and and consider the energy assessment that looks at their current energy use before they make any decisions.

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


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