Construction starting soon on Dane County biodigester facility

Construction is set to begin soon on a new Dane County biodigester facility to produce renewable vehicle fuel from waste like garbage and manure.

“Dane County is committed to accelerating work to clean up our lakes and financing efforts to produce renewable energy, and this project does both,” said County Executive Joe Parisi.

The county’s landfill currently generates electricity using the gas released from garbage and organic material breaking down. According to a release, this landfill makes enough electricity to power 4,500 homes.

With the new biodigester, Dane County will be able to convert this gas into vehicle fuel. That’s estimated to generate enough revenue to cover the $25 million price tag for the project within just a few years.

The county will be building a gas off-loading station where biogas producers can bring cleaned fuel and have it injected into the interstate pipeline. According to a release, this project would be the first in the nation to get biogas from multiple off-site locations and connect that gas with fueling stations around the country.

The facility will also keep thousands of tons of carbon emissions from going directly into the environment.

With the design phase out of the way, ordering of system components has begun and the remainder of the project is out for bid. Construction is planned to start in the next few weeks, with the system due to go online by spring 2019.

The announcement was made by Dane County officials last week at a press conference alongside partners in the project: Cornerstone Engineering, Clean Fuel Partners and BIOFerm Energy, which is creating and supplying the biogas cleaning system for the project.

Nadeem Afghan, president and CEO of BIOFerm, says this project “will serve as a beacon for all municipalities on how to maximize resources.”

“This project once completed will have the capability to deliver half a billion gallons of clean transportation fuel, which would be a great contribution by Dane County to save our environment from fossil fuel economy,” he said.

“Taking cow manure and garbage and turning it into vehicle fuel is good for the air we breathe, the waters we fish and swim in, and county taxpayers,” Parisi said.

–By Alex Moe