Olivera Egg Ranch French Camp, Calif., is planning to turn its poultry waste into “green” power through a waste digester system, which is expected to generate all of the power needs for the ranch’s facilities.
G3 Power Systems, using a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell power plant from FuelCell Energy, is currently designing a poultry waste digester system that will process over 1 million pounds of poultry waste per week. The system will use the heat byproduct of G3’s hydrogen fuel cell systems to maintain the digester at peak operating temperature to generate the electricity.
FuelCell Energy will service the power plant under a five year service agreement.
“We evaluated all of the power generation options available in the marketplace today and identified fuel cell power plants as the best commercial technology available to meet baseload power needs in an efficient and environmentally friendly manner,” said Ray Brewer, President, G3 Power Systems.
R. Daniel Brdar, FuelCell Energy’s chairman and chief executive officer told New Times it is the first of several initiatives by FuelCell to convert animal waste into clean energy.
As an example, the city of Turlock, Calif.’s Regional Water Quality Control facility is using a 1.2-megawatt DFC1500 fuel-cell power plant to turn methane gas into fuel.
Olivera Egg Ranch currently uses a solid waste lagoon for waste disposal. An anaerobic digester will be installed and the waste stream will be directed into the power plant structure where heat and microorganisms will reduce the volume of waste and create methane gas as a byproduct.
FuelCell Energy says the fuel cell power plant will use 100 percent of the methane waste byproduct as fuel to generate renewable electricity. In addition, the power plant emits virtually zero harmful pollutants such as NOx, SOx and particulate matter due to the lack of combustion in the fuel cell electrical generation process.
Ed Olivera, owner of Olivera Egg Ranch, expects both its waste disposal and power costs to decrease as the poultry operation will continually generate fuel needed to create electricity.