Kewaunee farm breaks ground on renewable energy project

    Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy in Kewaunee broke ground on its renewable natural gas project, August 8, 2018. (WLUK)<p>{/p}<p>{/p}

    KEWAUNEE (WLUK) -- A dairy farm in Kewaunee County is turning waste into energy.

    Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy broke ground Wednesday on a project that will create renewable natural gas from dairy cow manure as fuel to power compressed natural gas vehicles.

    It's the first of its kind in Wisconsin and second in the country. The other operation is in Indiana.

    A rendering of Pagel's Ponderosa Dairy's renewable natural gas project. (WLUK)

    Officials say once operational, manure generated by the farm's herd will be pumped into an underground anaerobic digester where methane released from the manure will be captured. The methane will then be refined at a facility in Newton to meet pipeline-quality standards and injected into a natural gas transmission line.

    Detroit-based energy company, DTE Biomass Energy, is helping them with the project.

    DTE estimates this will reduce yearly greenhouse gas emissions by an amount equal to removing 9,200 vehicles from the road.

    "We think this is a tremendous opportunity to take a gas that otherwise would vent into the atmosphere or would be flared and not have any use to it; we think this is a great opportunity to take that gas and put it to good environmental and efficient use and we have plans to do this throughout the country," said Kevin Dobson of DTE Biomass Energy.

    Construction on the facility should be complete by early 2019.

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