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Bakerview Eco Dairy digester launch

Kelsi Van Keulen Published on 30 August 2011
Anaerobic Digester

The first demonstration farm of its kind in Canada held a launch event on June 29 to heighten political interest in its on-site anaerobic digester system. The Bakerview Eco Dairy of Abbotsford, British Columbia, hosted upwards of 75 people on the rainy morning.

Groups were led through the Eco Dairy to see the robotic milker, the swinging cow brush and the showpiece: the manure digester.



Following the tour, speeches were made by partners in Avatar Canada, Bill Vanderkooi and John De Jonge, along with various government and project sponsor representatives.

Provincial and local government were very supportive of the launch. Minister of Energy and Mines Rich Tour group listening near disgesterColeman learned more about the Eco Dairy site and congratulated Bill Vanderkooi on his entrepreneurial spirit and leadership in sustainability.

The Honourable Mike De Jong, Minister of Health, also came and saw what the buzz is about surrounding the anaerobic digester.

The mayor of the City of Abbotsford, George Peary, and city councillors were also in attendance, showing their support for green energy in Abbotsford.

The purpose of the launch was to heighten interest in on-farm manure digester systems and gain support from provincial government to help with funding of renewable energy.


The project was funded in different ways: A $240,000 grant came from the British Columbia Bioenergy Network; a $70,000 grant from the Environmental Farm Plan (EFP) Program; and an $80,000 grant from British Columbia’s Hydro’s Power Smart Technology Demonstration Fund.

All three of these sponsors were represented at the event, along with members of ARDCorp (the British Columbia Agricultural Research and Development Corporation).

In order to further the success already achieved in the venture down the path of green energy, additional John De Jonge (right),  Bill Vanderkooi (left),  & members of local government.

funding is being sought from programs such as Cow Power and the Feed-in Tariff program.

Cow Power is where British Columbia’s electricity consumers will have the option to buy their electricity from on-farm anaerobic digester systems for four cents more a kWh, which will in turn help that farmer produce the green energy more profitably and aid in more anaerobic digester systems built in British Columbia.

The Feed-in Tariff program (FIT) would be where farmers can earn revenue for using emerging energy production technologies to prove their performance and remain profitable on a small scale, like the model of the Bakerview Eco Dairy.  PD


TOP: The anaerobic digester was the centre of attention at a launch event to heighten interest in on-farm manure digester systems and gain support from provincial government to help with funding of renewable energy.

MIDDLE: A tour group near the digester listens intently.

BOTTOM: Partners of Avatar Canada, John De Jonge (right) and Bill Vanderkooi (left), explain the anaerobic digestion process to members of the local government. Photos by Avatar Energy and Dean McMurray of Artex Barn Solutions