Maine's largest dairy farm demonstrates the 'power' of cow poop

Sep 29, 2023
by Talia Clarke
Source: WMTW NEWS 8 Portland

Flood Brother’s Farm is Maine’s largest dairy farm. They are also the location for the state’s first community renewable natural gas dairy digester.

Seven farms, including Flood Brothers, provide 170,000 gallons of manure a day to this digester, owned and operated by Summit Utilities and a subsidiary company, Peak Renewables.

Methane is extracted from the manure through the digester, a process that takes about 3 weeks. Then the usable gas is injected into the renewable natural gas pipeline, used for things like heating your home and cooking food.

This benefits any customer of Summit Natural Gas in the Augusta, Waterville or Madison area whether that be residential, commercial and industrial users.

Plant Manager with Peaks Renewables Tim Wade, explains “it’s a great renewable energy source at the same time we’re helping to decarbonize the environment by capturing that methane that would otherwise be emitted into the atmosphere.”

Once the material runs its course through the digester, farm owners are left with the byproducts that can be used as bedding for cows and a concentrated nutrient rich liquid to spread on to their fields for crops.

Flood family member Jenni Tilton-Flood says, “they return to us a product that is valuable, it increases our efficiency, reduces our impact on the environment and helps create a more sustainable system.”