Chicken poop may one day become a new green energy alternative in the United States thanks to one Maryland-based company. EnergyWorks recently inked a deal with Hillandale Farms to convert chicken poop into usable energy. Hillandale Farms is a Pennsylvania chicken farm with more than 3 million hens with plans to expand to about 5 million layer hens.
EnergyWorks will be building a $30 million facility near the chicken farm to process the waste. Once the plant is completed and up and running in 2012, it will be capable of generating 2.5 megawatts of electricity annually, will recycle more than 13,000 tons of mineral byproducts each year, will reduce ammonia emissions from the farm by 50 percent, will reduce chicken waste storage needs by 97 percent and will eliminate over 34,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Currently the chicken waste is spread out on nearby land, and inevitably some of the byproducts of this waste end up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed. Once the facility is operational, this will allow 23,000 acres of land to be put to better use and reduce runoff pollution.
Hillandale Farms Gettysburg general manager Sy Rizvi commented on the Chesapeake Bay watershed for an EnergyWorks press release: “This project will make an important contribution to ongoing efforts by the animal agriculture industry to ensure the sustainability and security of our national food systems, and reduce nutrients in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.”
Although this specific plant will focus on converting chicken waste into power, EnergyWorks’ method can be used with other types of animal waste. This isn’t the company’s first venture into the green energy world either, the EnergyWorks Field Services division offers project management and construction services to wind energy projects across the nation.