Maryland opens animal waste-to-energy program

By Anna Simet | January 24, 2017

The Maryland Energy Administration has opened the application window for its Animal Waste-to-Energy Grant Program, which will make investments in projects that utilize animal waste to generate electricity, with a focus on reducing environmental impacts of animal waste on state natural resources.

Last year, the state funded two animal waste technology projects totaling $1.8 million, the bulk of which was awarded to Clean Bay Renewables of Maryland to construct and operate a 2-MW manure-to-energy plant in Somerset County.

This year, MEA has made up to $2 million available for the program. There is no participation cap or set number grantees, but participants must provide a cost share of at least 50 percent. Grants will be awarded on a competitive basis, and at the discretion of an evaluation team made up of MEA staff members, consultants from other government agencies and other institutions or organizations. 

The program is open to businesses, government agencies, and nonprofits in Maryland. Applicants will be judged on numerous criteria, including, but not limited to: capacity and efficiency of the project in producing electric energy; effectiveness of project at reducing or eliminating nutrients, particularly phosphorus and nitrogen, from animal waste and preventing it from entering the Chesapeake Bay and its tributaries; quantity of animal waste that can be processed by the project; ability to beneficially use any byproducts generated by the project and potential market opportunities for them; appropriateness of identified project site, including environmental and socioeconomic considerations as well as proximity to fuel sources; ability to utilize electricity generated from project on-site or otherwise; whether contracts have been secured for electricity generated from the project; economic impacts on the host site and local and regional economies; and qualifications and experience of the project team.

 Projects may be on-farm, community, or regional in scale, and must be functional by June 30, 2019.

Applications are due by Feb. 28.