Brightmark Partners with New York Dairy Farms to Produce Renewable Natural Gas from Cow Manure

October 27th, 2020
Reading time: 3 minutes

RNG projects to reduce the environmental impact of dairy manure and improve odor and nutrient management practices.


SAN FRANCISCO–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Brightmark, the global waste solutions provider, today announced that it has partnered with three New York dairy farms on the Helios Project, the latest in a series of renewable natural gas (RNG) projects the company has launched over the past two years. The project is part of the recently announced joint venture Brightmark RNG Holdings LLC, a Brightmark platform in partnership with Chevron U.S.A. Inc.

Gardeau Crest Farms located in Western New York and Lawnhurst Farms and Willet Dairy, located in New York’s Finger Lakes Region, have each signed supply agreements with Brightmark indicating their intent to provide the company with dairy manure from their herds that will serve as feedstock for the three existing anaerobic digesters on the farms. The digesters will capture, extract, and clean the methane in the manure, then convert it into RNG and inject it into a nearby gas pipeline for distribution.

When fully operational in the third quarter of 2021, the Helios project digesters will produce up to 500 MMBtu of RNG per day or 182,500 MMBtu per year between the three dairy farms. Brightmark has partnered on RNG projects with 23 dairy farms in nine states over the past two years. Once all of these projects are operational, Brightmark’s RNG projects will generate enough renewable natural gas each year to drive 1,600 18-wheeler trucks from San Francisco to New York City.

“We are excited to partner with Gardeau Crest, Lawnhurst, and Willet to further expand our renewable natural gas projects in New York and deliver environmental and economic benefits to their communities,” said Bob Powell, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brightmark. “Brightmark aims to offset 22 million metric tons of CO2 by 2024 with our RNG projects and these partnerships are critical in helping us achieve our goal.”

Anaerobic digestion systems can prevent significant quantities of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from being released into the atmosphere. Research shows that when all-climate benefits are considered together, RNG from dairy manure can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 400% when it is used to replace traditional vehicle fuels through this net carbon-negative process. These projects will reduce the net greenhouse gas emissions from the manure processed at this facility at a rate of 55,000 metric tons of CO2e per year, which is equivalent to planting 72,000 acres of forest each year. After the methane is extracted from the processed manure, the remaining materials will be returned to the farmers for use as fertilizer on their fields that grow crops for their cows. These partnerships will allow the farms to reduce land application of manure and improve odor and nutrient management practices.

“We are proud to partner with Brightmark to further reduce our environmental impact and to ensure that we continue to be good neighbors to our local community with the odor management benefits our anaerobic digester provides,” said Don Jensen of Lawnhurst Farms. “This partnership allows us to convert our manure waste into a valuable resource, while also improving odor control and reducing our emissions – a win-win-win for our farm, our community, and the environment.”

Learn more about the Helios project here.

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