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Richard A. Peterson NATC Balancing the Technology and Economics of Farm Energy Needs Connecticut Farm Energy Conference Legislative Office Building Hartford,

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Presentation on theme: "Richard A. Peterson NATC Balancing the Technology and Economics of Farm Energy Needs Connecticut Farm Energy Conference Legislative Office Building Hartford,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Richard A. Peterson NATC Balancing the Technology and Economics of Farm Energy Needs Connecticut Farm Energy Conference Legislative Office Building Hartford, Connecticut November 5, 2013

2 Richard A. Peterson NATC A General Look at Energy use in Agriculture Agriculture is Energy Dependent Primary Energy Drivers –Electricity –Diesel Fuel/Gasoline/Biofuels –Fuel Oil/Natural Gas/Propane –Solar/Wind/Methane/Biomass/Other Renewables

3 Richard A. Peterson NATC Uses of Energy on Farms Soil preparation Planting Crop Care Commodity Harvest Materials Handling/On Farm Processing Environmental Control/Livestock Comfort Storage Systems Lighting Heating Transportation

4 Richard A. Peterson NATC Current Farm Energy Consumption Direct energy – diesel, gasoline, LP gas, natural gas, and electricity Indirect energy – fertilizers and pesticides Source: Prof. John Miranowski, Iowa State University

5 Richard A. Peterson NATC Breakdown of Farm Energy Use Across the US Source: Prof. John Miranowski, Iowa State University

6 Richard A. Peterson NATC Source: Prof. John Miranowski, Iowa State University

7 Richard A. Peterson NATC Source: Prof John Miranowski, Iowa State University

8 Richard A. Peterson NATC Source: Prof John Miranowski, Iowa State University

9 Richard A. Peterson NATC Is Farm Energy Use Increasing? Agricultural production is growing at an average rate of 2% per year However, Energy inputs have remained relatively flat over the last 30 years Farm operators have increased energy efficiency

10 Richard A. Peterson NATC A quick look at Connecticut agriculture Farm numbers have increased by 733 farms or 17.5% between 2002 and Farm acreage has increased 13.6% in that same 5 year period However, the average acreage per farm is down slightly The total value of farm commodities has increased 17.2% between 2002 and 2007 Source: 2007 Census of Agriculture

11 Richard A. Peterson NATC The Top 9 of 25 Connecticut Ag Commodities Represent more than 76% of total commodity value Greenhouse/Nursery44.2% Dairy12.7% Chicken (eggs) 8.7% Aquaculture (clams & oysters) 3.2% Sweet Corn 2.0% Cattle and calves 1.6% Apples 1.4% Tobacco 1.3% Hay 1.1% 76.2%

12 Richard A. Peterson NATC How can Connecticut Farm Operators Assess and Improve Energy Efficiency? Get an energy audit (conducted by agricultural professionals) Prioritize energy efficiency improvement opportunities and set goals for implementation

13 Richard A. Peterson NATC Why Conduct and Energy Audit? Energy audits provide a decision making tool to help farm operators assess appropriate energy conservation measuresEnergy audits provide a decision making tool to help farm operators assess appropriate energy conservation measures Energy audits provide a clear picture of a farm’s energy use and the pattern of usage by day and by season Energy audits provide a clear picture of a farm’s energy use and the pattern of usage by day and by season Audits are sometimes required as part of energy related grant applications, such as the USDA REAP grant program. Audits are sometimes required as part of energy related grant applications, such as the USDA REAP grant program.

14 Richard A. Peterson NATC Thinking About a Renewable Energy System? An energy audit will provide valuable information about energy use patterns on your farm. This information is very important as you assess the economics of a renewable energy system.

15 Richard A. Peterson NATC What are Energy Utilization Indices? Energy Utilization Indices (EUIs) refer to the amount of energy used to accomplish a certain activity or process.Energy Utilization Indices (EUIs) refer to the amount of energy used to accomplish a certain activity or process. EUIs for farms are stated in various ways:EUIs for farms are stated in various ways: kWh/unit of production (cwt of milk, bu. of grain)kWh/unit of production (cwt of milk, bu. of grain) kWh/animal unit (cow, feeder pig, 100 chickens)kWh/animal unit (cow, feeder pig, 100 chickens)

16 Richard A. Peterson NATC What Are Energy Conservation Measures? Energy Conservation Measures refer to equipment or operational measures that will increase efficiency and save energyEnergy Conservation Measures refer to equipment or operational measures that will increase efficiency and save energy

17 Richard A. Peterson NATC The Value of Knowing EUIs Determining farm EUIs provides benchmarking data related to similar farms in the same region Having valid EUI data helps farm operators prioritize energy efficiency upgrades

18 Richard A. Peterson NATC How Dairy Farms Use Energy Information Gathered in an Energy Audit Northeast Agriculture Technology Corp. Ithaca, NY

19 Richard A. Peterson NATC Major Energy use Functions on a Dairy Farm Milk Harvest* Milk Cooling* Lighting* Air Circulation* and Ventilation Washing and Water Heating* Manure Handling Water Pumping Feed Handling Compressed Air *Indicates uses where significant energy savings is possible

20 Richard A. Peterson NATC WHERE IS ELECTRICITY USED ON DAIRY FARMS? Summary of electric energy use on a typical dairy farm Source: NATC, Ithaca, NY

21 Richard A. Peterson NATC Freestall vs. Tie Stall Operations Freestall operationsTie stall operations

22 Richard A. Peterson NATC Renewable Energy Systems Farms make a good fit

23 Richard A. Peterson NATC Key Issues of On-Farm Biogas Generation

24 Richard A. Peterson NATC Anaerobic Digesters are common worldwide There are 6 to 8 million low technology farm- based digesters used to provide biogas for cooking and lighting The worldwide trend is toward larger, more sophisticated systems with advanced process control. The European Union countries are most advanced in anaerobic digester applications

25 Richard A. Peterson NATC Farm Biogas Plants In The European Union Source: AD NETT, European Anaerobic Digester Network

26 Richard A. Peterson NATC Large Scale Agricultural AD in Germany

27 Richard A. Peterson NATC Anaerobic Digesters in the US The first farm based digester was built at McCabe Farms in 1972 McCabe farms is a hog farm bordering the Town of Mt Pleasant, IA Odor control was the driving reason for building the digester Vertical plug flow/natural gas used to heat Still operational – all biogas is flared

28 Richard A. Peterson NATC Dairy Anaerobic Digesters Elsewhere in the US Anaerobic digester interest among US dairymen grew during the energy crisis of the 1970s. Numerous digesters were built, but most failed because of high operating costs, and inadequate technology. There is a great resurgence of interest and activity in many dairy states

29 Richard A. Peterson NATC Why Greater Interest in Manure Digesters? 1. Need for controlling odor & managing waste (larger farms) 2. Higher prices for energy 3. Government (USDA) grants & loans 4. Media articles on farms producing green power 5. Increased cost for fertilizer (manure used as a substitute) 6. Firms looking to invest in biogas facilities & sell power 7. Carbon/renewable energy credits

30 Richard A. Peterson NATC Dealing With Volumes of Waste 1,200 lb. cow produces her own weight in manure every 25 days* * 98 lbs of manure produced per day 150 lb. finishing pig produces its own weight in manure every 15 days * * 9.8 lbs of manure produced per day. A herd of 500 cows produces 49,000 lbs. of manure per day A herd of 500 finishing pigs produces 4,900 lbs. of manure per day

31 Richard A. Peterson NATC Components of a Biogas System Digester: Consists of a closed chamber or lagoon Anaerobic microbes (absence of oxygen) To work correctly, it must be managed. Consistent input, keep within acid/base tolerances, etc.

32 Richard A. Peterson NATC Components of a Biogas System Solids Separator: Squeezes out liquid to create a dry bedding for cows.

33 Richard A. Peterson NATC Components of a Biogas System

34 Richard A. Peterson NATC Biogas Production System Consider the additional expense, number of moving parts, maintenance and management needed to turn gas into electricity.

35 Richard A. Peterson NATC Economics – Two New York Dairies Sunny Knoll Dairy in New York (1,400 cows) Digester: Site Work Engineering Design Concrete Digester Miscellaneous $40, , ,000 27,000 Energy Conversion: Engine-Generator Elec., Controls, Plumb. Biomass Use Bldg. $350, ,000 30,000 Family Labor$7, Constr. Cost $1,084,500 Patterson Dairy in New York (1,000 cows) Digester: Site Work Engineering Design Concrete Digester Miscellaneous $62,723 99, ,930 31,893 Energy Conversion: Engine-Generator Elec., Controls, Plumb. Biomass Use Bldg. $200, ,476 51,601 Family Labor$68,553 Solid-liquid separation Building Separator 127,775 53, & 05 Constr. Cost $1,508,630

36 Richard A. Peterson NATC More Farm Renewable Energy Opportunities Solar and Wind Biomass Production Biofuels

37 Richard A. Peterson NATC Gary Menard Dairy Farm Mooers, NY A 12.6 kW Solar Photovoltaic System With Zomeworks® Trackers

38 Richard A. Peterson NATC Cost Details Menard Solar System Total Cost (with tracker) $124,647 NYSERDA Incentive $ 50,400 USDA Grant $ 31,161 Menard Cost $ 43,086 Cost/kWh (34 months)$ 0.41/kWh Note: Solar tracking system can increase annual output by up to 40%.

39 Richard A. Peterson NATC A 5.5 kW solar system with NOVAR® Tracker Currently producing 50% more than a similar system with a fixed array.

40 Richard A. Peterson NATC Lifetime Output and Economics 10 kW Lessons Learned:  Inverter destroyed by lightning  Output slightly less than ratings  Cost of elec. generated = 74 cents/kWh Simple payback: Installed cost = $50,000 With 30% tax credit, drops to $35,000 Yearly output = $630 worth of energy Takes 55.5 years to pay off  Shows lifetime output since May 2006  Consistently generates approx. 7,000 kWh per year Value: 7,000 kWh x $.09/kWh = $630 per year

41 Richard A. Peterson NATC Summary Farms are energy intensive Energy Conservation and Efficiency Improvements are a logical first step in a long range energy management plan Renewable energy systems are compatible with farm operations Few renewable energy systems are economically feasible without incentives

42 Richard A. Peterson NATC Summary Renewable energy systems on farms should be considered only after all practical energy efficiency upgrades and energy conservation measures have been adopted Reducing farm load on rural electric distribution systems is beneficial to utilities and customers alike Renewable energy systems producing electricity on farms can reduce stress on rural distribution lines The economics of renewable energy systems will improve over time.

43 Richard A. Peterson NATC Thank you for your time.


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