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Mains Family Farm Project

NativeEnergy helped install a methane digester on the Mains Dairy Farm in southern Pennsylvania.

Carbon Project Type: Farm Methane Power
Location: Newville, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.
Year: 2008
Volume: 43,300 metric tons
Capacity: 74 kW

With upfront funding from Help Build™ carbon offsets, Mains Dairy in Newville, Pennsylvania, constructed an anaerobic digester for manure conversion and electricity generation. This avoids greenhouse gas emissions in two ways:
 
1.     It avoids methane emissions from manure by "digesting" the slurry and combusting the methane.
2.     It replaces local grid-based electricity with renewable energy.
 
Mains Dairy Farm is family-owned, founded in 1997 by Daniel Mains and his father, Francis. The farm’s herd has grown to approximately 800 cows over the past two years—730 milk cows, 125 dry cows, and 60 heifers are contributing manure to the digester. The farm employs six people.

NativeEnergy carbon offset purchases aided the family's commitment to environmental stewardship and economic innovation. On behalf of our customers, NativeEnergy bought, in advance, the carbon offsets associated with the operation of the digester. This provided upfront funding for a significant portion of the total capital costs.
 
The project's performance will be third-party verified at least every five years.

Sustainable Development Benefits

Environmental Benefits

  • Displaces polluting grid-based electricity with renewable energy
  • Reduces 43,300 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Reduces the farm’s nutrient runoff, odor, and pathogens
  • Creates safer organic fertilizer to apply to the fields

Social Benefits

  • Reduces energy and nutrient management costs for the farm
  • Creates bedding for the cows, replacing expensive and hard-to-find wood shavings
  • Preserves open space, local agriculture, and the traditional community

Project Participants

This project is a collaborative effort between the Mains, NativeEnergy, and Environmental Management Group International.

Validation and Verification

This project was validated using Carbon Neutral Network methodologies.

Financial Additionality

This project meets NativeEnergy’s stringent additionality criteria, as our funding was necessary to the project’s implementation.