Merced dairy turning cow manure into renewable energy
A Merced dairy is converting cow waste into renewable energy. Eileen Martinho works for Maas Energy Works and tells us how it’s done. “This is a dairy digester cluster project, where each dairy is a digester on their facility,” she said. “Then, they are sending methane gas from their digester, which is the purpose of the digester, is to collect the methane gas off of the manure.” After the manure is collected from thousands of cows, a special contraption called a Digester is used to help create renewable natural gas or “biomethane” before it’s sent back through a pipeline to one central location.
Local dairy producer Alex Dejager was hesitant when he was first approached about this project, not knowing the benefits or what it would turn into almost two years later. “Maas Energy came to us, basically knocked on our door and said we have a big dream of doing a project out here to capture emissions from 15,16 different dairies in one little area, pipeline it all to on essential area and basically move that gas to PG&E, and we kind of all laughed at him,” he said.