MONROE, Wash. -- Snohomish County Public Utility (Sno-PUD) Managers topped Puget Sound Energy in a bid to buy manure-generated power from digester operator near Monroe.

Methane is captured from the waste to power a generator that converts it to electricity.

The Qualco Energy digester turns manure from a nearby dairy farm into enough energy to power 300 homes.

Sno-PUD spokesman Neil Neroutsos said the utility is interested in local power generated by waste and it helps fill out their growing list of sustainable power supplies.

Cow manure power is nothing if not sustainable. The herd is producing product 24/7 in any kind of weather. But the digester is delivering more than just power. It s producing tons of nutrient-rich, bacteria-free fertilizer that can be sold to area farmers and spread on crops. It reduces the need for factory-made, chemical-containing fertilizers that are shipped in from outside the state.

The digester is also providing a place for others to get rid of energy rich waste. Restaurants send their grease there, butchers send blood, and distributers can get rid of beer, wine and soft drinks there that have exceeded their expiration dates. All of that material can be cooked enough to get rid of bacteria and produce valuable methane gas.

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