Consumers Energy invests in Michigan dairy project


Consumers Energy invests in Michigan dairy project

Consumers Energy has announced its first renewable fuel project with a Michigan dairy farm.

Greg Salisbury, VP of gas engineering and supply, tells Brownfield Swisslane Dairy in Alto will serve as a model farm producing renewable natural gas from an anaerobic digester as part of the company’s commitment to achieving net-zero by 2030.

“We foresee the next 10 years of being super active in this year,” he says.

Fourth-generation farmer Annie Link with Swissland Dairy says the farm has wanted to invest in the technology for several years and this partnership will help strengthen their commitment to environmental stewardship.

“Being able to reduce the odor and being able to keep our neighbors and community with an available and affordable supply of energy—it’s about time we start celebrating manure!” she says.

The farm also plans to capture dried manure to be reused for animal bedding and is excited for the other benefits of the digester.

“The manure still has a ton of value as a fertilizer, but also we are able to dry the solids that come out of that and use it as bedding so it’s going to really simplify our operations, it’s going to reduce a lot of costs, and it’s still going to give the cows the bedding and comfort that they desire,” she explains.

The project is expected to be complete in 2023 and Salisbury says there are absolutely more plans to work with dairy farmers in the state to capture renewable energy.