Cow Power? County to unveil biogas pipeline proposal to convert farm waste into electricity
On Tuesday, Aug. 31, legislators will meet with members of the county department of planning and economic development, area dairy farmers and Cornell experts to discuss the feasibility of building a pipeline in Cayuga County to transport biogas and convert it into useable energy.
“This is one of only a few projects like this in the country,” said Frank Howe, a county planner working on the pipeline project. “It has garnered a great deal of attention and we’re being watched by the USDA in Washington as a model for the dairy industry in the U.S.”
Biogas is a mixture of mostly methane and carbon dioxide produced by the breakdown of organic material by bacteria. Many farmers produce the gas as a way to save on energy costs and reduce the smell of livestock waste.
The proposed 40 miles of pipeline would connect seven dairy farms on the south end of the county industrial park on West Genesee Street Road in Aurelius.
Special anaerobic digesters on each farm would extract biogas from cow manure and then send the gas through the pipeline to a generator facility where it could be converted to either electricity, heat or natural gas.