Stahlbush Island Farms Launches Biogas Plant

Stahlbush Island Farms, a sustainable agriculture and food production company, has begun full operations of the first-of-its-kind Biogas Plant in North America, according to a July 17 press release.

The power plant will provide enough electricity for approximately 1,100 homes, nearly twice what the farm and food processing plant uses in a year. The $10 million project took 14 months to complete and is operated by Stahlbush Island Farms, Inc.

The Biogas plant supports the farms' goal of minimizing its carbon footprint and gaining energy independence through the creation of a renewable, on-farm energy source. A recent innovation in the United States, and most commonly associated with dairy operations, anaerobic digesters have been creating green energy in Europe for decades. This is the first plant in North America, according to the press release, built with state-of-the-art engineering and design techniques for the purpose of creating biogas from fruit and vegetable byproduct.

Organic material (in this case, fruit and vegetable matter) placed in anaerobic conditions in large mixed tanks produces biogas. The methane-rich biogas is used to fuel a combined heat and power (CHP) system.

The Energy Trust of Oregon, Oregon and the federal government provided incentives for the project.

Located in Willamette Valley, Stahlbush Island Farms grows vegetables and fruits on nearly 5,000 acres of land and has practiced sustainable farming and food processing for nearly 25 years.

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