Ag Turns To Green Energy

Farms and agribusinesses are taking advantage of the opportunities offered by green energy. Here's a chance for you to get all the latest information too.

Published on: Oct 21, 2013

You will learn all about the new biodigester at Ringler Farms in the November issue of Ohio Farmer. The quasar energy facility on the family farm enables the hog operation to turn manure into electrical energy – enough to power 500 homes.

The farm is just one of many agribusinesses that are turning to green energy solutions to meet their power needs, manage waste and boost sustainability. Farmers and others in the agriculture industry can learn more about this trend and the opportunities it offers at Ohio State University's 2013 Renewable Energy Workshop, Nov. 19 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. in Wooster.

The event will feature presentations by university and industry experts as well as tours highlighting a variety of alternative energy sources, including biogas, wind, solar and biomass, says Yebo Li, workshop organizer and a biosystems engineer with the university's College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences.

Ag Turns To Green Energy
Ag Turns To Green Energy

The morning portion of the workshop will take place at Fisher Auditorium, 1680 Madison Ave., Wooster, Ohio, on the campus of the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. The afternoon program will feature tours of Wooster area companies, schools and government entities that have implemented on-site renewable energy projects.

"This workshop is an excellent opportunity for businesses and different types of organizations to find out about the various sources of alternative energy available and the opportunities that exist to implement cost-effective and sustainable energy-generation projects," said Li, who specializes in research and commercialization of renewable energy, fuel and industrial products.

"In addition, attendees get the chance to interact with representatives from renewable energy companies, ask questions about their products and services, and tour businesses and organizations that have successfully installed and operate renewable energy projects."

Registration (including lunch) costs $40 before Nov. 12 and $50 after that date. The cost for college students is $20. To register, fill out the form available on the workshop's brochure, downloadable at http://go.osu.edu/XR3, and follow instructions for making your payment; or contact Mary Wicks, 330-202-3533,wicks.14@osu.edu.

Morning presentations, all related to methane for transportation fuels, include:

* "Conversion Technologies," Li.

* "CNG (compressed natural gas) Vehicles," Jerrold Hutton, Clean Fuels Ohio.

* "Biogas from Anaerobic Digestion for Transportation," Ned Mast, quasar energy group.

* "Shale Gas Impacts," Jeff Daniels, Ohio State.

After lunch, workshop participants will tour four locations:

* G&S Titanium, which in March 2012 installed a 65-kW solar array at its Wooster plant.

* The College of Wooster's Scot Center, a fitness facility opened in 2012 and topped by a 20,000-square-foot solar panel array that produces 271,000 kW hours per year.

*  Two biodigesters constructed by quasar energy group: The city of Wooster's newly built facility for conversion of sewage sludge to biogas; and quasar's flagship digester on the OARDC campus, which processes food waste.