The Maryland Department of Agriculture (MDA) awarded a $970,000 grant to Biomass Heating Solutions (BHSL) for a manure-to-energy project at a Dorchester County poultry farm.
BHSL will use electricity generating technology to process poultry litter into energy that will heat and cool four poultry houses. The system is projected to generate 526 MWh of electricity per year.
Innovations like this are being made possible by the Animal Waste Technology Fund, which provides incentives to companies that demonstrate new technologies on farms and provide alternative strategies for managing animal manure. In January 2014, MDA issued a request for proposals for demonstration projects with proven and innovative technologies that manage agricultural manure and on-farm generated waste in a manner that improves its utility as a fertilizer, changes its form or function for alternative uses or produces energy or other marketable products. MDA received eight bids. In addition to the BHSL project, two other projects were approved by the Board of Public Works in August.
- Planet Found Energy Development (PFED) was awarded $676,144 to build an anaerobic digester linked to a nutrient recovery system to produce electricity for parasitic load. It will use net metering to send any excess electricity back to the grid. Although pairing the two components is new, both have been proven as stand-alone systems. PFED broke ground on the anaerobic digester component of the project this spring and will use grant funds from the State to support the nutrient capture system.
- Green Mountain Technologies (GMT) was awarded $388,310 for two in-vessel composting projects that use web-enabled controllers and probes to monitor temperatures and manage the composters remotely when not on site.
MDA awarded $2 million from FY2014 program funds. In FY2015, $3 million will be available for a new round of projects to demonstrate innovative manure management technologies.