Electricity From Waste

By: Joe Hamilton
By: Joe Hamilton

It’s called “Cow Power.” A renewable source of energy produced from the droppings of animals. Now the State of Illinois is getting behind the project by providing two local farms $225,000 each to capture this power byproduct.

Hunter Haven farm in Pearl City is one of two local farms receiving this bovine grant from the state. The money will be used to help farmers speed up decomposition of these cow patties and capture the methane gas produced by the process.

So what's all the poop about? Well, it takes only manure from six of these cows to generate enough electricity to power one home. Hunter Haven farm is capable of generating enough power to light nearly four city blocks.

Hunter Haven farmer Doug Block says, "We’re excited. We've wanted to do this for years, but we couldn't have done this without this grant.”

The money this farm will receive is part of a pilot program designed to find renewable sources of energy across the state.

Scheidairy Farms in Freeport is the other local farm who is receiving this cow power grant, but Common Wealth Edison buys this power from other methane producing farms. There is still no word if they will purchase the excess power from these farms.


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