The Noblehurst Project is a great example of how collaboration can lead to innovation when it comes to reducing environmental impacts related to energy and food production. The project serves as a model for working together to achieve sustainable systems.
This project is a collaboration with Wegmans, Noblehurst Farms, Craigs Station Creamery, and Upcycling Inc. It serves as a great example of how we rise to challenges as a population by collaborating and working together to solve problems creatively-and sustainably. The Radiant Store Inc. is proud to be affiliated with the construction activities surrounding this venture and help provide low carbon alternatives to producing heat and power. It will endure as a great example of the “Why” behind the work The Radiant Store does, and it will continue to provide long term benefits for the communities we live in.
• Food Waste: Landfill waste contributing to methane a greenhouse gas
• Energy Efficiency: Fossil fuel consumption contributing to carbon emissions and adding input costs to production
• Employment: Limited opportunities for low skilled/disabled workers
• Manure Management: Manure waste spread on fields or hauled to offsite storage contributing to carbon dioxide in atmosphere.
• Waste Management: Few options to mitigate whey and wastewater resulting from production activities.
Connecting the Dots:
•Wegmans had a desire to reduce food waste currently being sent to landfills.
• Craigs Station Creamery had a desire to lower energy costs and sustainably produce dairy products while lowering input costs, in addition to mitigating whey and wastewater from production activities.
• Noblehurst Dairy Farms had a desire to control manure on the 1800 cow dairy farm in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way.
A digester was built in a joint venture between Noblehurst Farms and Envittec Biogas USA. The digester produces enough electricity to power 1000 homes utilizing organic materials such as food waste and manure. The project was subsidized in part by National Grid, through the Agricultural Productivity Grant, USDA REAP Grant and NYSERDA, The NY State Research and Development Authority. Cornell University provided additional technical support.
The digester provides Wegmans an opportunity to turn food normally trucked into a landfill into electricity; this decreases costs for disposal and reduces greenhouse gas emissions at the local level in the landfill. Craigs Station Creamery can simultaneously mitigate the waste stream from food production, turning it into electricity and avoiding several emissions of several hundred tons of carbon dioxide per month!
In addition, two new companies were formed. The first company, Upcycling Inc., has contributed to local job growth as this model has expanded throughout the Wegmans Food Store system along the Eastern Coast. Upcycling serves as the Logistics partner for Food companies in need of waste stream reduction by transporting by-products to renewable energy locations. The other entity, Noblehurst Green Energy, provides electricity to end users derived from sustainable sources. In terms of employment opportunities, low skilled and disabled workers are given good paying jobs to unpackage and process the raw materials for the digester. Manure management is improved by eliminating manure through the digester activities cutting methane emissions and odors for Noblehurst Dairy Farms. Fossil fuel consumption is reduced significantly at both the Noblehurst Dairy and Craigs Station Creamery.
Solar Energy Systems and HVAC The Radiant Store contributed their expertise in renewable heating to provide a sustainable source of heating for both the Dairy operation at Noblehurst Farms as well as the Creamery, integrating the components of the manufacturing process water heating components with solar thermal. In addition, The Radiant Store interfaced multiple mechanical systems at the dairy plant and dairy farm to insure as much heat as possible could be derived from renewable sources, eliminating the need for additional fossil fuel based process heating systems.