By Jean-Paul MacDonald
Over a decade ago, Bruce County's Carl Frook made an environmentally conscious move. He introduces a biogas plant on his farm. Little did he know the venture would revolutionize his agricultural practices and set an example for green energy in farming.
Marl Creek Renewables, owned by the Frook family, operates one of the 45 agricultural anaerobic digesters in Canada. Carl reflects, “Initially, we were unaware of its full potential. But a decade later, the biogas plant not only generates electricity but has also uplifted our farming techniques, from animal care to nutrient management.”
The journey began in 2010 when Ontario's Green Energy Act and the Feed-In Tariff program were unveiled. Collaborating with government and energy entities, by 2012, Frook's 750-kilowatt plant was up and running. Designed by BIO-EN Power, the facility daily produces 18 megawatts of electricity, drawing from diverse feedstocks like manure, milk, and food waste, and sells this power to the grid.
Marl Creek Renewables' biogas plant not only enhances farming but also reduces greenhouse emissions by capturing methane and converting it into energy. The residue provides nutrient-rich fertilizer and solid bedding material, eliminating the need for commercial fertilizers. The plant also ensures clean and safe cattle bedding.
For those considering a green transition, Frook recommends seeking insights from existing plant owners and studying local infrastructure. The plant's automation makes management a part-time job, ensuring uninterrupted operations round the clock.
The Canadian Biogas Association continues to promote biogas and its potential.