Skaneateles (WSYR-TV) - Nestled in the rolling hills in Skaneateles is a vast, 2,500 acre farmland called Twin Birch Dairy. Hundreds of cows can be found there producing thousands of gallons of milk each day. But, alongside milk, Twin Birch Dairy also generates power.
“We use our manure, we collect our manure and make electricity from our manure. It's a complicated process, but simply put, it’s making power from manure,” said Steve McGlynn.
The “Cow Power” that Twin Birch Dairy uses is popular in Germany. And more and more farmers in the U.S. are also using it to cut costs.
The manure is collected from the cows’ living areas and funneled into an underground pipe that intersects with a digester vessel. The manure is then discharged into a concrete tank where it stays for 21 days at 100 degrees, emerging as methane, which is used to fuel an engine-generator. Once in the engine generator, the fuel is used to power a six-cylinder generator, which is used to power 225 kilo watts per hour.
The system provides enough energy to power the entire farm, which means it provides enough energy to power 170 average sized homes. The system cuts the facility’s electricity costs by thousands of dollars.