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A methane dome is a recognizable part of an anaerobic digester system. Photo: <a href="">Dan Hartung</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.
A methane dome is a recognizable part of an anaerobic digester system. Photo: Dan Hartung, Creative Commons, some rights reserved.

St. Lawrence co. dairy gets digester grant

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A large dairy farm in St. Lawrence County is getting more than $400,000 for a methane digester. The grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture will help Woodcrest Dairy in Lisbon pay for the estimated $2.5-million project.

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Co-owner Peter Braun says the digester will satisfy all of the farm’s electricity needs, and possibly produce enough power to sell back to the grid. He says it also allows the farm to recycle the cow’s manure. "After having that sit in the digester to generate the methane gas," says Braun, "it kills most of the pathogenic bacteria, so we can reuse, recycle that solid portion of the manure as a bedding material for the dairy farm."

Woodcrest milks 2,750 cows and employs 60 people. It’s one of the largest dairies in the county.

In a press release, Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand praised the project, calling it a good investment in clean energy and the local economy.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has also offered incentives for dairy farms around the state to build methane digesters. More than 30 farms have applied for a grant through NYSERDA, the state’s clean energy agency.

Braun says his farm will also be getting one of those grants. He expects to begin construction next year.

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