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— Biogas Microgeneration System

Key Objectives:
  • Demonstrate significant GHG emissions reduction through use of local renewable energy
  • Reduce environmental impact of waste management on water resources
  • Provide a higher supply of sustainable electric energy to the beneficiaries, giving them the capacity to self-supply and the potential to increase incomes by selling excess energy back to the grid
  • Improve environmental awareness 
  • Build local capacity in the development, operation, and maintenance of a biogas system
  • Use project as a pilot for replication, increasing local incentives to use renewable energies to mitigate climate change
San José, Uruguay

The GSEP’s Biogas Micro-Generation System Project will feature a biogas production system servicing small dairy farms in the Colonia Delta. Dairy farming is a way of life in the Colonia Delta community of Uruguay and a major sector in the country’s economy. Biogas is a promising technology that can provide cleaner electricity to these agricultural areas. Animal waste will be fed into the biodigester, which uses a bacterial biofermentation process to break down the waste into biogas and a leftover biofertilizer. The installed system will produce 2 x 75 kW of electricity, to be sold to the grid mainly during the peak load period.

In 2016, the GSEP implemented a training session for the project partners in order to guarantee the long-term operation and maintenance of the project. A site visit was organized for nine representatives from the local government of San José and the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF) to two biogas facilities in farming communities in Brazil. They met with users and owners of the facilities and gained a better technical understanding of biogas technologies. A project agreement is now being developed and procurement planning is underway.

In 2016, the project partners visited biogas facilities to gain a better technical understanding of biogas technologies.

The biogas system will prevent CO2 emissions and will also improve living conditions in the area by protecting surface and groundwater resources from contamination by manure and preventing the proliferation of flies (which may spread disease) and odours.

This project is being developed in collaboration with the Colonia Delta Cooperative, UTE (the public utility in Uruguay responsible for generation, transmission and distribution), the Department of San José, the government of Uruguay through its Project BioValor and CAF.

While the Colonia Delta community is small, the potential of this project is large. Once completed, it will serve as a model for replication in other farming communities in Uruguay, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and agricultural waste, which is the sector’s largest source of pollution. With this project, agricultural waste can become a valuable resource that can bring sustainable solutions to farming communities.

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