Oregon’s Stahlbush Island Farms Launches First-of-Its-Kind Biogas Plant
Oregon Family Farm Producing Electricity from Fruits and Vegetable By-Product
CORVALLIS, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Stahlbush Island Farms, a national leader in sustainable agriculture and food production, has begun full operations of the first-of-its-kind Biogas Plant in North America. 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 dollar project took fourteen months to complete and is operated by Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.
The cutting edge 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. This is the first plant in North America, built with state-of-the-art engineering and design techniques for the purpose of creating biogas from fruit and vegetable by-product.
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").
This method of energy conversion has very little energy loss and is thus highly efficient. Thermal energy and electrical energy are produced at the same time — an ideal situation for food production, which requires both.
The Energy Trust of Oregon, and the Oregon State and Federal governments provided incentives for the project. Without this financial assistance, the project would not have been possible.
About Stahlbush Island Farms
Located in the heart of Oregon's lush Willamette Valley, Stahlbush Island Farms is an environmentally-friendly farm and food processor committed to sustainable agriculture. The farm currently grows vegetables and fruits on nearly 5,000 acres of land and has practiced sustainable farming and food processing for nearly 25 years.
The company's dedication to cleaner, greener practices is evidenced through its protection of river areas, efficient water use, low tillage methods, and many other efforts to create a better food system. One hundred percent of the Farms are "certified sustainable" by the Food Alliance. There are 1,500 acres USDA Certified Organic by Oregon Tilth, a non-profit research and education organization certifying organic farmers, processors, retailers and handlers throughout Oregon.
For more information visit www.stahlbush.com/.
We need a lot more of these. I hope this is the first of many to come. Self-sustainability is the name of the game...