Sonoma County Supervisors last week gave the green light to a chicken waste-based energy project that could potentially take up roost at the treatment plant on Eight Street East or the adjacent property, recently purchased by the Sonoma County Water Agency. According to the project manager, Kordel Stillman, chief engineer for the water agency, there is no commitment to the project just yet. Rather, supes have given the nod allowing the agency to move forward and find funding.
If funded, the project would involve six to eight trucks, loaded with chicken litter from Petaluma, arriving at the facility each day. The chicken waste would be fed into a manure digester that would generate methane gas and power a 1.4 megawatt fuel cell. Stillman says that this all happens in a controlled environment where the end product is completely odor-free.
The project is in the early planning stages and, once funded, would undergo environmental review. Stillman says the use of the 8th Street East facility would result in shorter trips – the waste is currently trucked to Oakland – and create jobs.