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Sixth AgSTAR National Conference

Boise Centre
Boise, ID
May 10-12, 2011

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AgSTAR would like to acknowledge our generous conference sponsors:

Platinum Sponsor:
Exergy logo

Gold Sponsor:
UTS logo
GHD logo
Northern Biogas logo
Peterson logo
Western States logo

Silver Sponsor:
GE logo

Bronze Sponsor:
Caterpillar logo
Environmental Fabrics Inc. logo
McLanahan Corporation logo
MWM logo

AgSTAR Friend:
LookOut Ridge Consulting logo

Thank you for your interest in the Sixth AgSTAR National Conference.

Exhibitors: Please visit our Exhibitor Page for a complete list of companies that exhibited at this year's conference.


Site Tour - Tuesday, May 10, 2011

10:00 AM

Tour of Big Sky West Dairy

  • This project utilizes the modified mixed / plug flow GHD digester technology to manage manure from approximately 4,700 head of dairy cows and a small amount of other organic wastes.  The manure is scraped into a flume, flushed into a collection pit and then pumped to the digester. The biogas is used to fuel two 710 kW co-generation units with power sold to the local utility.  A two stage solid-liquid separation system is used for solid separation, with the manure fibers beneficially used.  The development of the digester significantly reduced the dairy's manure management costs as well as provided a superior bedding for the livestock. The remaining fiber and emissions credits are sold to third parties.  The project has been operational for two years, and power production is running at 105% of original projections.  The generator set availability is approximately 95%, with digester availability close to 100%.  The project is owned by DFAP (a joint venture of Dean Foods and AgPower Partners) and is operated by Andgar Corporation under a long-term O&M contract.

The tour included an opportunity to visit five different stations to learn about all aspects of this comprehensive digester system. Attendees heard from representatives of the dairy farm, digester designer, project owner, and project staff on the design, financing, construction and operation of this system:

  • Station 1 - Manure Handling and Substrate Preparation
    Bryan VanLoo, Specialty Construction Manager, Andgar and Mike Apol, Regional Manager, Andgar
  • Station 2 - Modified Plug Flow Digester
    Steve Dvorak, President, GHD Inc.
  • Station 3 - Liquid/Solid Separation and Phosphorus Removal
    Marlin Statema, Partner, Ag Power Partners and Marty Tolle, Environmental Manager, Big Sky Dairy
  • Station 4 - Biogas Processing and Engine Generator
    Brad Weg, Project Manager, Andgar and Marcus Martin, Owner, Martin Machinery
  • Station 5 - Project Financing/Carbon Sales
    Bob Joblin, Partner, Ag Power Partners
2:00 PM

Carbon Offsets Workshop for Livestock Digester Projects: Presentations from the Climate Action Reserve's workshop are available.

Day One - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

7:30 AM Registration
8:45 AM Welcome/Announcements (PDF) (10 pp, 683K)
9:00 AM

Opening Speaker
James Carkulis, President and CEO, Exergy Development Group, Boise, Idaho (PDF) (7 pp, 410K)

  • Mr. Carkulis founded Exergy in 2001. He has since emerged as one of the paradigm-changers in the renewable energy industry, breaking new ground in how facilities are planned, situated, and financed. In the process, he has grown Exergy into a major player in renewable energy development in the United States. Under his leadership, Exergy has since moved into solar, biomass, anaerobic digesters, and energy storage. In 2005, the US Department of Energy's Wind Powering America program presented Carkulis with the "Carpe Ventum" award in recognition of his fresh approach to mitigating utility concerns about wind energy integration and his commitment to rural and community-oriented projects. His philosophy is free market principles are fundamentally compatible with societal values and accounting for the real value of social and natural capital is critical to long-term and sustainable economic prosperity.
9:15 AM

Financing Structures to Move the Market Forward
Moderator: Chris Voell, National Program Manager, AgSTAR

11:00 AM

Energy Policy and Regulations
Moderator: David Dunn, Central Vermont Public Service

1:15 PM

Biogas Recovery Systems - More Than Just a Digester
Moderator: Allison Costa, Program Manager, AgSTAR

3:30 PM

Funding Sources - Varied and Growing
Moderator: Garth Boyd, Camco

4:45 PM

Biogas Recovery Project Updates
Moderator: Mark Stoermann, Fair Oaks Dairy Farms

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Day Two - Thursday, May 12, 2011

7:30 AM

American Biogas Council and Dairy Power Meeting

  • Conference attendees heard updates from both of these organizations on their efforts to advance anaerobic digester systems.
8:30 AM

State and Community Support for AD Systems
Moderator: John Welch, Dane County Public Works

9:30 AM

Co-Digestion: Risk and Reward
Moderator: Grant Grinstead, Northern Biogas LLC

11:15 AM

Alternative Technologies for Manure and Organics Management
Moderator: Tim Zauche, University of Wisconsin - Platteville

1:15 PM

Biogas Recovery Project Updates – Part 2
Moderator: Amanda Green, Oregon Dairy Farmers Association

2:45 PM The Future of the US Digester Industry
3:00 PM Adjourn

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