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AgSTAR

Preliminary Project Planning

Assessing the financial feasibility of an anaerobic digester project is an iterative process. The first step is to do preliminary project planning. In this step, you do preliminary screening and a technical feasibility assessment to determine if the project can technically work. Then, using those assumptions, you can develop a high level estimate of the project’s financial feasibility considering revenues and expenses.

Preliminary Project Planning

Preliminary Screening

Determine whether anaerobic digestion is right for you by considering:

  • manure availability,
  • whether your manure management technique is compatible with an anaerobic digester,
  • potential uses for recovered energy and
  • whether you have the capacity to manage the system.

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Technical Feasibility

Start assessing your project’s technical feasibility by identifying the anaerobic digester components:

  • feedstock,
  • onsite conditions,
  • system type and size, and
  • biogas use.

Example Feasibility Study for Dairy Manure Anaerobic Digesters (PDF) (2009, Essential Consulting Oregon, LLC)

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Financial Feasibility - Revenue and Expenses

Estimate the annual revenue you could receive from your project based on the anaerobic digester components identified in your technical feasibility analysis:

  • The amount of biogas to be produced and how it will be sold
  • Financial assistance
  • Renewable energy and carbon credits

Estimate the annual expenses associated with your project. Include one-time (capital) and ongoing annual (operation and maintenance) costs of the system.

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What's next? After the preliminary project planning is complete, you will likely have to refine your assumptions and conduct detailed financial modeling through project financing