Newfoundland dairy turning poop into power

A dairy farm in western Newfoundland is harnessing the power of cow manure to create power.
A west coast farm is using cow manure to create energy, reports Jeremy Eaton 2:33

A dairy farm in western Newfoundland is harnessing the power of cow manure to create power. 

New World Dairy in St. David's has a special $5 million digester that breaks down the waste of its 1,200 cows. 

New World Dairy President Brent Chaffey hopes the provincial government will buy the company's excess power. (CBC)

"We can produce about four million kilowatt hours of electricity annually," company president Brent Chaffey said.

He told CBC News he had been looking into the unique way of creating electricity for years.

"I first became aware of it in 1989 and was quite interested in it," Chaffey said, "Recognizing that it wasn't something that we could utilize for quite some time into the future, if at all."

His staff travelled to Europe and North America to see how others made use of anaerobic digesters.

The process uses high heat and water to turn manure into power.

We can produce about four million kilowatt hours of electricity annually- Brent Chaffey

The green energy created will be able to power his farm, and then some, however at this point no one can sell excess power back to the grid in Newfoundland and Labrador.

"We'd like to be able to sell it into the grid, as we require for our own purposes only about 20 or 25 per cent, so we are 75 per cent surplus to our needs, [now] we are waiting on a policy decision from the Department of Natural Resources," Chaffey said.

In addition to power, the project also creates nutrient-rich water for crops, and fertilizer for cow beds. 


To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.