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DTE Biomass Energy opens first dairy RNG site in Wisconsin

With new injection site, DTE and local dairy farmers are reducing greenhouse gas emissions and displacing fossil-based fuel by creating sustainable vehicle fuel.


September 16, 2019
By DTE Biomass Energy

Topics

DTE Biomass Energy, a non-regulated subsidiary of DTE Energy, today announced it has opened its first and the state of Wisconsin’s first combined dairy renewable natural gas (RNG) processing and interstate injection facility. With over three decades of experience in landfill waste-to-energy projects, DTE Biomass, along with local dairy farm partners, is leading the way in the Wisconsin dairy renewable energy movement.

The renewable natural gas dairy processing and injection site, located in Newton, Wis., processes raw biogas piped from nearby partner farms into RNG, and also receives RNG trucked in from other dairy farm-based DTE facilities. From here, pipeline-quality RNG is injected directly into the interstate pipeline.

“This injection and RNG processing facility is an important milestone for us,” said Kevin Dobson, vice-president of business development, DTE Biomass Energy. “DTE’s dairy RNG production has grown tremendously over the last several months, and now we have a central location and efficient means for continuing the operation and growth of these and other dairy projects.”

DTE began dairy RNG processing operations in the state in the spring of 2019 at Dairy Dreams, LLC, a dairy farm located in Casco, Wis. DTE also has partnered with Pagel’s Ponderosa Dairy, LLC, Maple Leaf Dairy, Inc., and Grotegut Dairy Farm, Inc., and is processing biogas produced from these five farms into RNG at three DTE-owned and operated RNG facilities.

Converting waste manure to RNG is a win-win, both for dairy farms and the local environment. Leaving manure to decompose naturally on farmland releases methane directly into the atmosphere. Capturing this gas instead reduces the farms’ overall greenhouse gas footprint, provides the farms with another revenue stream and helps create a clean, sustainable vehicle fuel that displaces fossil-based gasoline or diesel fuel.

“Nearly 20,000 cows throughout Wisconsin are contributing to these projects,” Dobson notes. “Their waste was once a farmer’s burden, but now it’s a sustainable and clean source of energy,” he goes on to explain.

DTE is currently constructing four more RNG facilities in Wisconsin, partnering with Statz Bros. Inc, Kinnard Farms, and Milk Source at both their Rosendale and New Chester farms. The projects expect to begin processing RNG in early 2020. DTE Biomass will have seven DTE-owned and operated RNG facilities when these projects are complete.