The project will convert 230,000 tons of manure into renewable natural gas annually

Brightmark Energy

Image: Brigtmark Energy’s natural gas storage units. (Credit: Brightmark Energy, LLC.)

Brightmark Energy, a waste and energy development company, has partnered with four dairy farms in central Florida for the development of a biogas project.

As per the plan, Brightmark Energy will own, develop, build and operate three anaerobic digesters to convert 230,000 tons of dairy manure per year from 9,900 cows into renewable natural gas.

For the project, the new anaerobic digesters will be built at four Larson family dairy farms in Okeechobee County, including two farms owned by Larson Dairy and two farms owned by JM Larson.

After the digesters are built, the project is expected to annually generate about 171,000MMBTU of renewable natural gas, which will be later delivered into the local interstate gas pipeline system.

In the past two years, Brightmark Energy has launched a series of biogas projects. The company’s active projects are located in Washington, Wisconsin, and New York.

When the latest project becomes operational by the end of next year, it is claimed to generate enough renewable natural gas to drive a bus more than 26 million kilometers each year. Brightmark Energy is developing similar biogas projects across the US.

Brightmark Energy CEO Bob Powell said: “We’re proud to partner with the Larson family, who have a long history as dairy industry leaders in Florida.

“Projects like these help to provide additional revenue streams for farmers, reduce local air and water impacts and enhance the sustainability efforts of farmers, so this project is a win for the farmers and the local community.”

As per Brightmark, anaerobic digestion of dairy cow manure can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The process prevents methane, a greenhouse gas from entering into the atmosphere.

Brightmark Energy’s latest biogas project could offset 57,400 metric tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually

The project could reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from processed dairy manure at 57,400 metric tonnes per year, which is equal to planting 75,000 acres of forest annually.

Florida Farm Bureau State Legislative Affairs Director Adam Basford said: “Anaerobic digestion is a potential new revenue source for dairy farms, so we’re thrilled to see this new partnership between Brightmark and the Larson family here in Florida.”

Participating farmer Woody Larson said: “Brightmark Energy has been a good partner in the development of this project. We are glad the technology and economics are coming together to support our environmental and sustainability goals.

“Cows are the ultimate recyclers, creating wholesome milk from byproducts of the citrus, ethanol, brewing and textile industries. This technology now also allows us to convert manure to energy and improve the environment.”

Last September, Brightmark Energy partnered with four dairy farms in New York to use anaerobic digesters for converting 225,000 gallons of dairy waste per day from 11,000 cows into biogas and other products.