Turning Cow Manure Into Power

By Kiersten Mathieu

July 22, 2010 Updated May 14, 2007 at 7:31 PM EDT

From cow to power.

The Chenango County Farm Bureau, along with Eco Technology Solutions is studying how to make manure into power.

"To be on the cutting edge of technology, it's just the right thing to do," says Bradd Vickers of the Chenango County Farm Bureau.

Instead of local farms paying to dispose their cow waste, it would be sent to a what's called a community digester plant.

This is a similar one in Nebraska.

Inside, cow manure is converted energy.

In Chenango County, the plant could be built next to the jail, to provide it with light and heat.

"I call it the renewable energy genesis. You take something that you have, that you don't want and you convert it into energy," says Kamyar Zadeh of Eco Technology Solutions.

It costs 350 thousand dollars a year to power and heat the Chenango County Correctional facility.

But with a community digester plant here, that cost would no longer burden taxpayers.

The process also creates a high grade fertilizer which could be sold or given back to the farmers.

"This is certainly an ideal match if we can reduce that operating costs while at the same time helping our agriculture community," says Vickers.

Chenango County could be the first community in New York to use manure for power.

Leading the state down the cow path to light switch.

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