Project spotlight: Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy

I suspect most of us spent this past Sunday participating, albeit virtually, in that annual American ritual otherwise known as the Super Bowl. With the newly crowned Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers back at home in Wisconsin, it’s a good time to revisit the second-most important fact about Green Bay: it’s a mere 25 miles from Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, one of the dairies in our portfolio of offset projects.

Since we’re headed to the farm next week to kick off verification of the emission reductions produced by the project in 2010, it’s a great time to explain what happens on a verification site visit. If you’d like a more mainstream virtual tour, check out the ESPN story and pictures.

Every year, TerraPass accompanies an independent verifier on a visit to each of our projects as a part of the verification process. The point of the site visit is to ensure that the project still exists, that it’s being operated correctly, and that the emissions reductions claimed by the project were actually produced. Next week when we visit John Pagel and his 4600 cows in Kewaunee, WI, the verifier will be on hand to ensure that the project is living up to the standards set by the Climate Action Reserve’s Livestock Project Protocol.

The verifier will inspect the project’s anaerobic digester and the three devices supplied with digester biogas: an 800-kW electrical generator, a boiler, and a backup flare. The verifier will take a look at the project’s three flow meters, which measure gas flow to each device, as well as the project’s data logger, which captures all the flow measurements and records the operating hours of the engine and the flare. Then, the verifier will interview dairy personnel to learn more about how the project is operated, and what safeguards are in place to make sure everything runs smoothly and no data is lost. Finally, the verifier will ask us about the procedures TerraPass employs to prepare the project for verification, and calculate how many tons of emissions reductions the project produced in 2010.

If all goes well, we’ll have some time to hang out with the cows at the end of the day. Maybe we’ll even get to sample some Pagel’s Ponderosa milk — the product of over 60 years of family dairying tradition.

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