1998 - Volume #22, Issue #2, Page #29[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
They Used Hog Manure To Generate Electricity
The Tulare, Calif., farmers started making their own electricity in 1982 and now have the capacity to produce more than 240,000 kilowatt hours (kwh) of electricity per month with four generators at various locations. That's not only enough to power their 15,000-head hog operation, but they also sell the excess electricity to Southern California Edison as well. They're one of only three small electricity producers in California to do so.
"With electricity at a cost of 8 cents per kwh, it takes approximately three years to pay off a typical 100 kwh system that costs between $150,000 and $200,000 to set up," Sharp says. "Excess electricity can be sold back to the utility for 2 1/2 to 3 cents per kwh."
Sharps' system consists of covered la-goons that capture methane gas and feed it into diesel engines converted to burn methane. The engines power generators.
The system saves the Sharps an estimated $8,000 a month in electricity costs.
In addition to producing electricity, the system greatly reduces the amount of methane released into the atmosphere, which helps control odor and flies.
"We have three 75 kwh units and one 100 kwh unit operating at various locations," Sharp says. "Each one is site-specific for that particular location. We bought all the components from local distributors."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Sharp Energy Inc., 24684 Rd. 148, Tulare, Calif. 93274 (ph 209 688-2051; fax 1111).
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