Ellington farm turns manure into natural gas

Local farm turning manure into natural gas
Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 5:17 PM EDT
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ELLINGTON, CT (WFSB) - After five years of development and production, an Ellington farm will be on the cutting edge of green energy production this fall.

Earlier Thursday, Eyewitness News got a sneak peek at how they will be able to produce massive quantities of natural gas.

They don’t even let the waste go to waste.

That’s right, we’re talking about manure.

“Why not take that waste product that we have and turn it into an organic renewable product?” said Seth Bahler, a fifth-generation farmer at Oak Ridge Dairy Farm in Ellington.

Bahler said this methane digester will be up and running in October, transforming waste from his 3,000 dairy cows into natural gas.

Producing quantities that he said could power 800 homes for one year’s time.

“There’s methane bugs that are in the digester that are eating that energy,” said Bahler. “We can clean it up to clean enough so we can inject it right into the pipeline.”

Bahler said one of his dairy cows produces about 10 gallons of milk a day, but he said each cow also produces about 15 gallons of manure.

“We have a contract to supply manure and we get paid for that, but then there’s other partners that are marketing that gas because there’s credits for that,” said Bahler.

Public utility and holding company South Jersey Industries is investing in the project and Bahler said it’ll take the gas the digester generates.

Bahler said this is only the beginning for this technology in Connecticut.

Taking something you’d scrape off the bottom of your shoe and turning it into a gold mine.

“There’s a need for natural gas, and it also helps dairy farms, huge. You know, we’re reducing our carbon footprint, reducing greenhouse gases,” said Bahler.