Brightmark Energy, a San Francisco-based waste and energy development company, recently launched a biogas project in Yakima County, Washington, that will convert 150,000 gallons per day of dairy waste from up to 7,000 cows into 160,000 MMBtu of renewable natural gas – the equivalent of 1.4 million gallons of gasoline – and other products each year. Collaborating as Augean Renewable Natural Gas, Brightmark Energy, Promus Energy, and DeRuyter Dairies developed the project. Brightmark Energy will manage the joint venture and Promus Energy, the original developer, will serve as the project manager.
A key component of the Augean project is the construction of new pipeline infrastructure by Yakima County and Augean that sets the table for biomethane projects for other dairies in the area. The project will collect biogas from DeRuyter’s anaerobic digester fueled exclusively by manure. The raw biogas will be cleaned, upgraded, and compressed into pipeline quality CNG, which will be transported through the new pipeline system and injected into the nearby Williams NW regional gas transmission line for sale as vehicle fuel.
“Brightmark specializes in energy technologies that turn waste into productive, sustainable energy solutions,” said CEO Bob Powell. “We are working to develop similar projects across the country to help dairy farmers mitigate the regulatory and environmental concerns associated with waste management, while transforming manure management from a cost center to a profit center.”
Brightmark’s investment in the Augean project enables DeRuyter to upgrade its 12-year-old manure collection system and digester to increase its capacity and conserve water. DeRuyter anticipates that the project will save the dairies more than a half of a million dollars each year in operating and environmental compliance costs.
The Augean biogas project is also supported by a $1.4 million grant from Yakima County and a $500,000 Rural Energy for American Program (REAP) grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. “Yakima County is pleased to provide a matching grant for the pipeline system, which sets the stage for dairy digester projects that convert waste into value-added renewable products that improve environmental, economic, and community health,” said Mike Leita, chair of the Yakima County Board of Commissioners.
Source: Brightmark Energy