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Pennwood Farms Watches Electricity and Bedding Costs Disappear

Tucked away in the hillsides of Somerset County, Pennwood Farms is seeing great results from its new methane digester. The 600-cow dairy farm is owned by four brothers who installed the digester in April of this year with the help of a $264,450 USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) loan, a $264,574 REAP grant and $475,274 in PA Energy Development Authority funding. The digester produces biogas to power a 180-kilowatt engine-generator, providing more than enough electricity to meet the farm’s needs. In addition to electricity, the digester also produces fertilizer and cow bedding, saving the farm over $60,000 per year in bedding costs.

Rural Development’s REAP loan and grant to Pennwood Farms are excellent examples of funding that contributes to making farm operations more energy efficient and economical. This funding for renewable energy projects helps rebuild and revitalize rural America.

Lambert Rosenbaum, USDA Rural Development Area Director (right) discusses the newly installed anaerobic methane digester at Pennwood Farms in Somerset County, Pa. with Merv Yoder of RCM Digesters, the installer. The digester is currently producing more than enough energy to operate the farm.

Lambert Rosenbaum, USDA Rural Development Area Director (right) discusses the newly installed anaerobic methane digester at Pennwood Farms in Somerset County, Pa. with Merv Yoder of RCM Digesters, the installer. The digester is currently producing more than enough energy to operate the farm.

REAP funding can be made in the form of grants, guaranteed loans and combination grant/guaranteed loans to help agricultural producers and rural small businesses purchase and install renewable energy systems and make energy-efficiency improvements in rural areas.  For more information on REAP grants and loans, go to our website.

The H₂S purifier. It pulls H₂S gas out of manure before it can corrode digester parts.

The H₂S purifier. It pulls H₂S gas out of manure before it can corrode digester parts.

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