California's Sonoma County Board of Supervisors has approved an energy purchase agreement and land lease for a biogas plant that will convert chicken manure to electricity.
The plant will be part of the county's "Farm to Fuel" project, and will have a fuel cell that will convert the natural gas produced by the bacterial digestion of 2 million birds-worth of chicken manure into electricity. The power from the fuel cell will then provide 25% of the local wastewater treatment plant's power consumption for moving drinking water around the county. “Projects such as the Farms to Fuel initiative benefits a broad sector of our community,” said water agency director Mike McGuire. “Jobs are created, clean energy is produced and an agricultural waste stream is brought to beneficial use."
Construction on the plant will begin in September and the plant is set to be operational in the spring of 2012.