Cow Power

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Agricultural sources of methane gas are responsible for approximately 3% of greenhouse gas emissions.  Wouldn’t it be great if this readily available resource could be turned into energy?  While it sounds like the wave of the future, it’s actually here now -- right in California’s own backyard.

At the Straus Family Creamery in Northern California, methane is being converted into electricity through their Methane Digester – a technological marvel that produces up to 600,000 kilowatt hours per year.   The electricity generated by the Methane Digester runs 95% of the farm, all the way down to charging the Straus’ electric car every night.

Albert Straus -- the president and owner of Straus Family Creamery -- is the innovator behind the Methane Digester, which had humble beginnings as a tank cover for the manure pond back in 1980 (an additional environmental benefit because capturing methane gas prevents it from being released into the atmosphere).  He shares with us the process of converting manure into electricity and how he’s made his electric meter run backwards.

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