Power of Chicken Poop Coming to Sonoma

By Chris Roberts
|  Tuesday, Jun 21, 2011  |  Updated 4:13 PM PDT
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Sonoma Chicken Poop

NBCPhiladelphia.com

Chicken poop is the new green energy.

Ah, the power of feces.

Electricity produced from chicken waste is likely coming to Sonoma County, with supervisors set to sign off on a proposal to build a power plant that runs on chicken poop near the county airport, according to the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat.

The $48 million power plant would be built by a private company called OHR BioStar and the Sonoma County Water Agency. The plant would generate methane gas, power a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell, and supply a quarter of the water agency's power needs. The rest of the methane will be sold to PG&E, according to the newspaper. The gas would be produced in three 65-foot tall "methane digester towers" that would be built next to an existing wastewater treatment plant. The towers are where the chicken waste and eggshells would decompose and release the gas which will power the electricity-producing turbine.

Thus far, the project has no organized opposition, according to the newspaper. A previous proposal would have built the chicken waste power plant in a different location in southern Sonoma County, but the new location near the county airport satisfies residents and business leaders, the newspaper reported.

What's more is that the waste-power plant will save the county money while moving it towards a goal of producing carbon-free energy.  The county's water agency must be carbon-free by 2015, and the chicken project means it'll be three-quarters there, the newspaper reported.

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