OLean Energy Facility, owned and operated by Danny Kluthe of Dodge, Nebr., is the first methane recovery project that uses animal waste as a renewable energy source to generate electricity. Grants from the Nebraska Environmental Trust and the USDA Rural Development complemented Kluthe’s personal investment in the project. The Natural Resources Conservation Service also shared a cost in the facility’s construction.

Animal waste from Kluthe’s 8,000-head hog operation is pumped daily into a large concrete cylinder-shaped digester. The digester creates methane which is captured and piped into a genset building where it is used to power an engine. The engine powers an 80-kilowatt generator that distributes electricity into Cuming County PPD’s power lines. NPPD assisted in the project’s electrical interconnection to Cuming County PPD’s distribution system.

The generator produces over 500,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity annually. This provides enough electricity to power over 30 homes for one year based on the state of Nebraska’s average consumption.