Ringler Energy LLC
Location: Cardington, OH
Loan Guarantee: $2,750,000
Technology: Anaerobic Digester
The Ringler family has been raising pork throughout Ohio and the Midwest for three generations. The renewable energy arm of the family operation, Ringler Energy LLC, received a $500,000 grant and a $2.75 million loan guarantee in 2011 to build an anaerobic digester that creates electricity from their livestock manure. Alex Ringler, who spearheaded the project, said this is all part of living up to the company’s slogan, “progressive agriculture.”
“I am always focused on making decisions that will secure our farm’s sustainability. I want to pass this operation on to our fourth generation, my sons,” he said. “Anaerobic digestion is going to play a big role in securing this future, and I enjoy being at the forefront of something new and exciting.”
The 800 kW farm digester powers the entire farm, turning waste into energy while reducing farm odors and creating a liquid fertilizer byproduct used by local farmers. Approximately 10-15% of the energy produced is used to run the anaerobic digester and farm, while the rest of the electricity is sold back to the utility grid.
“To stay competitive, we need to consistently progress,” he said. “Modern farmers have to explore new opportunities and new technologies that allow us to live in harmony with our neighbors, our consumers and the environment.”
Phase II of the Ringler Energy biodigester project will include the installation of biogas upgrades and compression equipment that will produce compressed natural gas for use as motor vehicle fuel. They plan to use most of the fuel to power their fleet of 40 trucks, with an expected reduction in fuel costs of one- to two-thirds. This is a good example of how REAP funds are helping American agriculture produce new sources of fuel and lead to greater energy independence.
Ringler said this project would not have been possible without the incentives from REAP. “REAP funding rewards farmers who are forward thinking and working to build a sustainable future for America’s agriculture industry,” he said.