Tag Archives: Globe Gazette

Wind farm expansion work begins

By Patrick Murphy, Norfolk Daily News

Work started in mid-February and turbine delivery is tentatively scheduled for end of May. The farm will go operational in July. The expansion will consist of three 2.3Mw (megawatt) machines. Bluestem also is currently working on developments across Nebraska and the Midwest.
Read more here.

Photo: Norfolk Daily News / Patrick Murphy. With the wind turbines from Creston Ridge Wind Farm Phase I in the background, construction is underway on Phase II. Developer: Omaha-based Bluestem Energy Solutions.


Solar power comes to Mason City library

By John Skipper, Globe Gazette

KIMT - Mason City Library

MASON CITY — Library Director Mary Markwalter and the Mason City Library board know what it’s like to put a lot of energy into an idea. On Thursday, they celebrated their three-year quest to have solar energy at the library with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. Solar panels have been installed on two of the library’s roofs. The first talk of solar power at the library began in 2013, said Markwalter. In 2014, the city budgeted $375,000 in its capital improvement budget for it and bids even came in below budget. Read more.

Photo credit: KIMT

A Nebraska Farm’s Renewable Energy Enterprise Is Reaping Profits While Protecting Soil & Water

Danny and Josie Kluthe own the first on-farm electrical generator in Nebraska powered by manure methane. The methane is harvested from an anaerobic manure digester on their swine farm in Dodge, Nebraska to produce electricity and compressed natural gas (CNG).

Some of their homegrown, renewable energy is used for the farm. The excess, enough to power approximately 50 homes, is sold to the Nebraska Public Power District (NPPD) through the Kluthe’s alternative energy business, called OLean Energy. NPPD distributes the energy to neighboring Cuming County Public Power District.

It all started with the Kluthe’s desire to be good neighbors, to control the odor from their farm, particularly with a church nearby.  At a symposium  presented by the Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality and the Nebraska Public Power District, Danny discovered that the manure from an anaerobic digester essentially comes out odorless. “So it seemed like a perfect fit.”

The USDA and the Nebraska Environmental Trust provided grants to help fund the construction of the farm’s electrical generator. The manure methane produced by the digester is piped to the generator to power it.

“We are displacing $4-per-gallon diesel with the methane we produce here on the farm, so the payback is phenomenal. We now can make our own electricity, our own vehicle fuel and our own fuel to heat the barns. It’s nice to be energy-independent and not be at the mercy of energy costs.”

To read more about the Kluthe family and additional ways they are protecting the soil and water resources at Bacon Hill, share their story and connect with others, click on this link: http://globegazette.com/article_c46cafba-2e1a-50bc9716db629ab74df1.html#.Umktng5a4OQ.twitter

The Midwest Rural Energy Council’s website provides resources on Anaerobic Digesters and Biogas, including: Anaerobic Digester Basics, Financial Assistance & Economics of Using Anaerobic Digesters, Farmers’ Digester Experience, Organizations that Support Anaerobic Digestion Endeavors, and more: www.mrec.org/anaerobicdigestion.html

The US Environmental Protection Agency’s AgStar Program provides an online Anaerobic Digester (AD) 101 guide, answers to Frequent Questions, Fact Sheets, and additional resources at this link: www.epa.gov/agstar/anaerobic/index.html