Wisconsin’s largest dairy opens anaerobic digester

Wisconsin’s largest dairy opens anaerobic digester

Rosendale Dairy will digest manure from 8,500 cows for heat and electricity.

January 17, 2014
REW Staff

cows biodigesterA ribbon-cutting ceremony for Rosendale Dairy’s new 1.4 megawatt biodigester on Dec. 11, 2013 attracted 100 visitors. The project included the installation of two complete-mix Coccus anaerobic digestion tanks from Madison, Wis.-based BIOFerm Energy Systems as well as the construction of a hands-on learning laboratory.

“It is a great privilege to work with such forward-thinking partners on a project of this scale. This is more than just a problem-solution-type project,” Joachim Janssen, CFO and head of biogas sector for BIOFerm parent company Viessmann, said during the ceremony. “This is a step toward solving waste removal issues and launching a major sustainability project.”

The project was made possible through partnerships between BIOFerm the Viessmann Group,  the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation, Milk Source and Rosendale Dairy.”

Once fully operational, the biodigester will process about 240 tons of manure per day from the dairy’s 8,500 cows; the digested manure is capable of producing up to 1.4 megawatts of renewable electricity. The site will also provide University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh students with the opportunity to work with real-life facts and figures.

biogester-bioferm-ribbon cuttingAlthough the biodigester’s primary purpose is generating renewable heat and electricity from manure, additional farm benefits include decreased phosphorus and nitrogen run-off, minimized farm odors and digestate with a high nutrient content that can be used on-farm or sold on the open market.

“When you add in the ability to use the manure to gather green energy even before it is returned to the soil, it is another major benefit to a farm’s pre-existing sustainability,” said Rosendale Dairy co-owner, Jim Ostrom.