Indiana dairies capture over one
million tons of greenhouse gas
State College, PA— Four Indiana dairies have
jointly signed an historic agreement with Environmental Credit Corp.
(ECC) to create more than one million carbon credits from greenhouse
gas-reducing projects. Each credit is equivalent to one metric ton
of carbon dioxide prevented from entering the atmosphere. The farms’
greenhouse gas reductions are comparable to planting four million
deciduous trees or offsetting the emissions of 20,000 cars.
The Bos, Herrema, Hidden View, and Windy Ridge
dairies located in Fair Oaks, Indiana house upwards of 17,000 cows
and produce more than 100,000 gallons of milk each day.
With a commitment to sustainable waste management,
each dairy has installed biogas digesters manufactured by GHD, Inc.
Tony Bos explains, “Because of the technology we use, we are
processing the manure into something valuable. The biogas we produce
is about 60 percent methane, very much like natural gas. We use
it for heat and electricity. Now in addition to energy, we qualify
for clean air credits.”
To get the most benefit from the potential credit
markets, the farms chose to work with ECC, a member of the Chicago
Climate Exchange (CCX), North America’s only voluntary, legally
binding rules-based greenhouse gas trading system. ECC works closely
with the farms to develop project protocols, monitor and certify
their methane emission reductions, and monetize and manage the resulting
carbon credits. Carbon credits are currently valued at around $4.00
per ton in the United States up from around $2.00 during 2005.
With about eight million dairy cows in the United
States, potential revenues to the dairy industry from carbon credits
could exceed tens of millions of dollars annually as the greenhouse
gas market grows. Dozens of farmers have already applied to enroll
in ECC’s carbon credit program, joining with other farms to
take advantage of this new source of revenue.