Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP (Baker Tilly) and the Wisconsin State Energy Office (SEO) have partnered to develop an action plan aimed at assisting dairy farms and cheese-making facilities reduce waste, reduce land spreading, curb impacts on local wastewater facilities and harness available energy sources. "Converting waste from these facilities for renewable energy applications may provide a meaningful tool as part of the state’s future energy mix in the areas of heat and power generation," says Tom Unke, Leader of Baker Tilly’s Energy and Utility Practice. The outcome of this collaboration demonstrates that alternative waste water treatment options can be economical, feasible, and financially viable in certain scenarios.
The report’s conclusions communicate actionable opportunities and provide a set of tools for identifying waste reducing energy applications within the state. These tools, along with a complete findings report, can be accessed through the Baker Tilly website.
Many opportunities are available state-wide to take advantage of waste-to-energy technologies for the production of renewable energy while reducing waste and pollution. The outcome of the collaboration was an in-depth toolkit and report that identifies opportunities for waste reducing energy applications on dairy farms and cheese making facilities. The goal was to create a win-win situation for Wisconsin’s cheese makers and dairy farmers by demonstrating that waste, as an alternative energy source, can generate new sources of revenue and support operational growth. The report identifies substantial room for growth based on current estimates of available waste in the state. "We are proud to work with the state on a collaborative effort aimed at helping Wisconsin dairy farms and cheese makers identify energy producing options while reducing waste that benefits many areas of the state," says Unke.
Additionally, Baker Tilly partnered with the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh to acquire, implement, and maintain testing equipment to be utilized at the University’s Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC). This facility will test outputs from waste generated at dairy farms and cheese making facilities and will be shared by the entire state and should include both lab testing and field testing capabilities.