Twin Birch Farm


Twin Birch Farm

Twin Birch Farm (credit:

Twin Birch Farm is a second generation farm that was bought at auction in 1960 and started out with 120 cows. In 1999 it doubled in size, and a few years later the farm began experiencing neighbor problems with manure storage. That is when they began looking into the option of a horizontal plug flow anaerobic digester.


In addition to trying to avoid odor issues associated with long- term manure storage, other reasons the farm was intrigued by this option was for energy savings, and to prevent the environmental and soil compaction impacts of daily manure spreading.


Some of the challenges the farm faced when operating their AD system effectively and utilizing the generated biogas include problems with the initial AD system design, the use of a hardtop to contain biogas, the heating system, and the efficient use of microturbines. Additionally, the farm has had to handle the constant challenge of biogas- induced corrosion throughout the digester operation.


IFES Number: 48

City: Skaneateles

State: NY

Country: USA

Type of Firm: Farm

Main Products: Dairy; compost

Size of Firm: 1175 milking cows; 2700 total acres

Ownership Type: Private

Technology: Biogas

Energy System Components: Anaerobic digester

Operational Status: Operational

Year Installed: 2003

Energy Feedstock: Manure from 1,900 cows; Milkhouse waste

Energy Produced: Biogas production: 100,000 cu_ft/day

Energy Uses: Electricity; Boiler/Furnace fuel

Fossil Energy Inputs Replaced: Fuel oil replaced by captured waste heat off GenSet

New co-products: Compost

Money Saved: $10k savings/year on heating oil

TCO2 Eq Avoided: 2,776 CO2E/yr