Noblehurst Farms, Inc., located in Livingston County, New York, began in the middle 1800s and has been running for 7 generations. In 1960 it was set up as a family corporation. , middle 1800s; Rob is 6th generation; nephew and nieces are involved in farm- set up as family corporation in 1960.
Beginning in 200o, the farm started looking into the option of adding an anaerobic digester to their operation, the primary reasons for which being to address environmental concerns and improve business viability. Environmental concerns were a high priority as the farm is sited in two watersheds that provide the primary drinking water supply for nearby communities. Traditionally manure was spread daily on cropland and thus water pollution from manure-borne pathogens and nutrient loading was a concern. Long-term storage could create greater odor issues in a community that already had expressed their objection to existing odors from the intensive dairy farming in the area.
As increasing pressure from environmental regulations and the surrounding community increased, Noblehurst considered a centralized digester for better manure management. However, when the centralized feasibility study: Evaluation of Anaerobic Digestion Options for Groups of Dairy Farms in Upstate New York (Jewell et al., 1997) suggested a system containing only one or two farms to be the best alternative, Noblehurst decided on a single-farm anaerobic digester. The reasoning for this decision was to better utilize the electricity produced and to minimize manure transportation costs.
The overall project goals were to construct and operate a cost-effective anaerobic digester system, which would demonstrate the following benefits:
• Odor reduction
• Pathogen reduction
• Nutrient control
• Reduction of methane emissions
• Reduction in volatile solids introduced into storage tanks/ponds
• Electricity savings and sales
• Heating savings
Digester construction began in the summer of 2001 and the biogas-fired GenSet started producing electricity on January 15, 2003. The digester is a complete mix variety and was sized with future herd expansion in mind.
IFES Number: 40
Type of Firm: Farm
Main Products: Dairy
Size of Firm: 1536 milking cows; 3000 total acres
Ownership Type: Private
Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester
Operational Status: Operational
Year Installed: 2003
Energy Feedstock: Manure from 1500 cows; 5000-6000 gallons/day of wastewater; 10 tons/day of milk plant BOD from supermarkets
Energy Produced: Biogas production: 168,000 cu_ft/day; Electricity: 3,350,700 kWh/yr
Energy Uses: Cogeneration
New co-products: Bedding
Money Saved: Supermarket tipping fees: $0.05/gallon for any liquid that comes onto farm
TCO2 Eq Avoided: 18,238 CO2E/yr