Horse Manure As Renewable Energy Source?
But, with those horses and ponies comes piles of problems. Those problems are half a million tons of manure produced by the prized animals.
"They've gotta be taking about 50 or 60 semi loads when they haul the pile, and they are doing the pile four times a year," said Abracadabra Farms Owner Barry Berkelhammer.
Berkelhammer says the company that takes away his manure and stall bedding charges around $6,000 a haul. But, if a manure to energy plant is created, that spending could be a thing of the past.
"We'll be taking horse muck and turning it into a form of renewable energy," said Florida Thoroughbred Association Spokesperson Merideth Woods.
The 35 million dollar plant would heat stall muck made of manure and stall bedding, and turn it into gas which would then be converted into 6.2 megawatts of power.
"That should be enough to power just over 14 hundred homes," said Woods.
And, Abracadabra horse farmers will have a cheaper solution to their disposal problem.
The manure disposal plant would be located off of State Road 40 next to the Martel Landfill. The plant is odorless and doesn't release omissions. But, it does release farm owners from having to worry about the county's and state's strict guidelines for getting rid of waste.
"It would be great if it helped the whole community," said Berkelhammer. "You know the horses could produce the energy for Ocala."
If approved the facility is expected to built built by 2009, and should pay for itself within twenty years.
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