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From Turkey Droppings To Kilowatts

by 5m Editor
26 April 2007, at 10:56am

UK - The nation's first manure-burning power plant is expected to go into production in Benson, Minn., in June.

Greg Langmo's turkeys

Greg Langmo likes to say he was just a "fat, dumb and happy turkey farmer" until the summer of 1998. That's when he walked into a meeting of the Meeker County Board and got blindsided by a courthouseful of riled-up residents. The mounds of manure he and other turkey growers were stockpiling on their farms to sell as fertilizer had become a nuisance, seemingly overnight.

"They said, 'It smells, it creates runoff, it collects flies,' " said Langmo, 48, who raises about a million turkeys a year on his farms near Litchfield. "The commissioners told me to solve the problem or they'd solve it for me."

Langmo placed an S.O.S. call to a British company he'd read about that was turning poultry litter into electricity. Nine years later, his solution has arrived: a $225 million plant an hour away in Benson that will turn poop into power.

The Fibrominn plant, in the heart of west-central Minnesota's turkey farming region, is scheduled to begin operating June 25. It'll be the nation's first large-scale power plant fueled by poultry manure.

More important, supporters say, it will be an important step in the country's quest to develop more sources of renewable energy. About half a million tons of turkey litter will be burned each year, generating enough energy for an estimated 50,000 households

Source: StarTribune

5m Editor