A cogeneration project under development at a turkey farm in the US state of North Carolina will use the turkeys’ waste as fuel, its developers say.

The $25 million plant is being built by agricultural firm Prestage AgEnergy in collaboration with boiler manufacturer Hurst Boiler, and is scheduled for completion this summer.

Once completed, the plant is expected to generate around 95 GWh per year, and its steam will be used in the pelletization process at an on-site mill which produces turkey and hog feed.

Michael Price, Hurst Boiler’s CEO, said the plant will be the first in the US to use 100% poultry litter as its fuel, with around 50,000 to 55,000 tonnes per year expected to be used.

He added that because poultry litter, a blend of manure and wood-based animal bedding material, involves some challenges for boilers designed to burn biomass, many manufacturers supplement their fuel blend with wood chips. 

‘All the information we have is that no one else is even exceeding 40% poultry litter in their fuel source,’ Price said. 

For such waste-to-energy projects, Hurst Boiler said it has designed its new 1600 HP biomass boiler especially to handle poultry litter.