June 2, 2022

US propane distributor Suburban Propane Partners has signed a deal with Adirondack Farms in Clinton County, New York to construct, own and operate a new biodigester system using dairy manure to make renewable natural gas (RNG).

dairy manure

The project expands Suburban’s portfolio of clean energy investments through the company’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Suburban Renewable Energy which was formed in January 2022. As well as propane, the company is a marketer of natural gas and electricity and investor in low carbon fuel alternatives

By taking the manure from dairy cows at Adirondack Farms and processing it through a digester, anaerobic bacteria break down the organic material and converts it into RNG and a nutrient-rich material known as a digestate.

Benefits of dairy manure

The RNG will be delivered to the natural gas distribution system and the digestate will be used by the farm. The digestate can be separated further, providing Adirondack with dry, soft materials that can be used for cow bedding, and a natural fertilizer that is used to grow feed for the cows.

“Farmers are the original stewards of the land, and we are stepping up and doing our part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” said Adirondack Farms partner Jon Rulfs “We’re constantly evolving to ensure we remain viable in a competitive marketplace while keeping the preservation of our natural resources a top priority.”

Michael Stivala, president and CEO of Suburban Propane added: “Our investment in a digester system at Adirondack Farms is our latest endeavour to bring renewable energy to local communities made from dairy manure.”

Though a small link in the chain of efforts to combat climate change, Adirondack is showing how the dairy industry can be a leader in the effort to reduce emissions using a waste product like dairy manure. At the same time, the collaboration creates a revenue opportunity for both Suburban and Adirondack.

“Through the Suburban Renewables platform, we continue to grow our portfolio of renewable energy investments in support of an economy-wide transition to a sustainable future. To effectively tackle environmental challenges, innovative new renewable energy sources are required,” said Suburban Propane’s Stivala.

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