Geerlings Hillside Farms - Farm Power in Overisel, Michigan
Farm Power

Project Details

Project type : Farm Power
What they do : Gas from the manure at the farm is collected and converted into energy.
Where they are : Overisel, Michigan
Portfolio Year : 2008, 2012
Standard : Climate Action Reserve (California Climate Action Registry)

About the Project

Geerlings Hillside Farms is the first centralized digester project in the state of Michigan. Originally, the manure on this 8,000 swine facility was stored for months under the swine barns and then trucked to fields where it was applied as fertilizer. While in storage, the manure decomposed and resulted in large amounts of methane being released into the atmosphere. Now manure is fed directly into a large tank to capture the methane and turn it into energy.

In the community

The introduction of this project on this family owned farm created many improvements to the local community. In addition to improving air quality (e.g., VOC reductions) and elimination of odor in surrounding areas, it improved living standards on the farm, in the neighboring communities, and in the areas where manure is field applied. The project also reduced the use of trucking fleets to ship manure to far away locations, balanced with increased trucking of manure to a central facility keep even more emissions from the atmosphere. Water is conserved through the nutrient removal system and instead of drawing water from the local watershed, the effluent is low enough in nutrients to be field applied. The installation of the nutrient recovery system could enhance local soil management.

This project also buoyed the local economy by creating employment for construction related to the project, installation of equipment, and operation. The operation of the project helps to stabilize the local economy and to bring increasing energy independence for the farming sector. This manifests itself both in longer term low energy costs (extending beyond the crediting period) as well as reduced exposure to price risks in energy markets. The continued operation of the farm improves its economic positioning. It also has the added benefit of development priming: this was the first multi-farm digester in the state, and brought digester technology down to a farm size that wasn’t accessing it. The innovative nutrient recovery system has already been replicated at a follow-on project at a nearby facility.