What We Do: Convert Waste to Renewable Energy

Ag-Grid Energy forms partnerships with family-owned dairy farms to build waste to energy facilities on their farms. With our experienced Development Partners, we bring together the pieces involved in developing a facility: design, engineering, interconnection, permitting, construction, and operation.

The key to successful operation is a steady volume of organic waste, which comes from on-site cow manure and locally sourced food waste from food processing plants, grocery stores, and large restaurants.

The central piece of every facility is an anaerobic digester. Essentially a large, sealed tank with a domed top, the digester keeps oxygen out while it mixes waste at optimum temperatures to support the natural process by which bacteria breaks down organic matter.

The end products are biogas used to produce energy and a nutrient-rich “digestate” used as fertilizer and/or compost for the crops dairy farms grow to feed their cows. Biogas is mostly methane and, like natural gas, has power-generating capabilities. Alternatively, biogas can be processed into renewable natural gas (RNG), which is used in place of natural gas or as vehicle fuel. 

Timeline

A digester typically becomes operational in two to three years and begins providing the farm with electricity, heat, and an odorless crop fertilizer. Once the digester is operational, the farm gains a new source of ongoing revenue.