Oregon farm launches fruit-powered biogas plant

Corvallis, Ore., July 17, 2009 – Stahlbush Island Farms, a sustainable food producer, has begun full operations of an on-site biogas plant. The power plant will provide enough electricity for approximately 1,100 homes, nearly twice what the farm and food processing plant uses in a year. The $10 million project took fourteen months to complete and is operated by Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.

The biogas plant supports Stahlbush Island Farms’ goal of minimizing its carbon footprint and gaining energy independence through the creation of a renewable, on-farm energy source. A recent innovation in the United States, and most commonly associated with dairy operations, anaerobic digesters have been creating green energy in Europe for decades.

The technology for creating biogas from organic matter is well-proven. Simply put, organic material, (in this case, fruit and vegetable matter) when placed in anaerobic conditions in large mixed tanks, produces biogas. The methane-rich biogas is used to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) system (a process also known as “co-generation”).

The Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Oregon State and Federal governments provided incentives for the project.

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