Renewable Energy Education Field Days: Anaerobic Digesters – Financing & Technology

Financing and technology of anaerobic digester systems were the subject of two webinars Wednesday, March 14, 2012.  Part of the Renewable Energy Education Field Day series, the webinars were targeted to landowners, community leaders and dairy farmers with operations of all sizes.

The webinars were a collaboration of Farm Foundation, NFP, USDA Rural Development, USDA Office of Energy Policy and New Uses, the U.S. Environmental Protection agency, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy and the Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative of the University of Wisconsin.

This was the third Renewable Energy Education Field Day program.  Biomass was the subject of the first field day, which took place in November 2010.   The second field day on Oct. 26, 2011, was a webinar on the use of anaerobic digester systems on livestock operations in the Southwest.  A survey of the more than 300 individuals who viewed that webinar indicated interest in additional information on financing installation and maintenance of a digester system, and on the technology options to consider deciding the type of system to install.

Those topics were the focus of the March 14 webinars.  The webinars originated from the Pyle Center at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Presentations are posted below as speakers have permitted.

Webinar I:  Financing an Anaerobic Digestion System

Introduction – Jerry Bingold, Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy

Farmers and Lenders Discuss Financing Structures


Karl Crave, Crave Brothers Dairy –

Bob Joblin, AgPower Group  – Presentation

Bill Jorgenson, AGreen Energy

Nick DuBois, Avatar, Vermont – Presentation

Joining the panel for questions and discussion were Mark Moser of RCM International and Steve Dvorak of DVO Inc.

Financing and Maintaining Community Anaerobic Digester Sytems


David Merritt, Dane County Department of Administration – Presentation

Monte Lamer, Clear Horizons

Anand Gangadharan, Novi Energy

Lenders’ Experiences/Expectations

Jon Best, CAT Financial Services

Michael Land, Baker Tilley Vircho Krause, LLP – Presentation

USDA Funding Programs

Todd Campbell, USDA Rural Development

Webinar 2:  Technical Aspects of Anaerobic Digestion Systems


Christopher Voell, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency AgStar Program

Overview of AD Technologies

Norma McDonald, Organic Waste Systems

USDA Technical Assistance Programs

William Boyd, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service – Presentation

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard for Anaerobic Digesters

Experience with AD Systems – Part 1

Psychrophilic, covered lagoonMark Moser, RCM International – Presentation

Mesophilic, plug flowNick DuBois, Avatar – Presentation
Modified plug-flow systems:  Steve Dvorak, DVO Inc. – Presentation

Mesophilic, completely mixed: Grant Grinstead, Northern Biogas

Joining the panel for questions and discussion was Bill Jorgenson, AGreen Energy

Experience with AD Systems – Part 2

Thermophilic, mixed: Michael Casper, Homeland Biogas Energy, LLC – Presentation

Dry fermentation: Tom Sonnleitner, University of Wisconsin, Oshkosh – Presentation

Food processing waste: Joe Kramer, Energy Center of Wisconsin – Presentation

Joining the panel for questions and discussion were Norma McDonald of Organic Waste Systems,

and Steve Sell, BIOFERM


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