26 Nov 2010

Effluent used to power piggery

1:27 pm on 26 November 2010

A Taranaki pig farmer has won national recognition for using pooh power to generate electricity.

Steve Lepper is winner of the small-medium business category in the 2010 EECA Awards.

He has developed a process that some dairy farmers are experimenting with as well, extracting biogas from a covered effluent pond.

The gas is piped to a combined heat and power unit which processes it to make electricity, which is used to power the piggery.

A 'heat recovery' system is also being installed which will use waste heat to heat water, some of which will replace electric heating for young pigs.

In its first month, the system produced enough gas to cut daily electricity use in the piggery 28%.

When fully commissioned, it's expected to save the farm more than $65,000 per year in electricity costs.

Project commendation

The Lepper biogas project has so far helped to set up three systems on North Island farms.

It won a commendation for researching, and trialling biogas on pig farms.

The project is supported by New Zealand Pork.