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Michigan Ag News Headlines
West Michigan Farms Convert Waste to Renewable Fuel
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/02/2023

Several farms in West Michigan are embracing a groundbreaking initiative that involves the conversion of animal waste into renewable natural gas using anaerobic digesters. Brightmark, a water solutions company, is leading the project in collaboration with Chevron. The farms, including Meadow Rock Dairy, Red Arrow Dairy Farm, SunRyz Dairy Farm, Willow Point Dairy Farm, Apple Gate Farm, River Ridge Farm, and Ottawa Farms, will benefit from this innovative technology.

Anaerobic digestion is not a new concept, but with increasing federal incentives for renewable energy projects, companies are now implementing it in West Michigan. By capturing methane released during the breakdown of cattle manure, the anaerobic digesters prevent the greenhouse gas from entering the atmosphere. The methane is then upgraded into renewable natural gas, which can be utilized to power vehicles and heat homes. Any remaining byproducts are returned to the farm for use as fertilizer or animal bedding.

Brightmark CEO Bob Powell highlighted the positive environmental impact of the project, with an expected annual reduction of over 135,000 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. The initiative not only contributes to sustainability but also generates revenue that will be shared between Brightmark, Chevron, and the participating farms.

This West Michigan endeavor signifies a win-win situation, benefiting the environment, local economy, and the farmers themselves. The anaerobic digesters not only provide a renewable energy source but also create job opportunities and support the agricultural community.

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