Muscoda Protein Products

Muscoda, Wisconsin
Section 9006 Grant: $420,322

Muscoda Protein Products is a third generation family business that produces dried whey isolates and natural cheeses. Faced with rising natural gas prices, the Meister family decided to install a state of the art wood-fired boiler system to generate steam for both cheese and whey manufacturing. The boiler uses 27 tons of hardwood chips and sawdust per day. Each year the $1.7 million project is saving 600,000 therms and saving the company close to $400,000 in avoided natural gas costs.

The wood chips come from a nearby lumber mill, Nelson Hardwood Lumber, which itself also received a Section 9006 grant in 2005 to install a wood-fired kiln at its sawmill.

The boiler has been designed to burn a variety of feedstocks and the firm is experimenting with using its nutrient-rich wastewater to irrigate a field of switchgrass which could eventually fuel the boiler as well.

“We are delighted with the performance of our boiler,” said Scott Meister, company president. “Not only are we saving money on our energy bill, we’re utilizing wood waste that is literally at our back door. The Section 9006 grant was the springboard to putting this idea into action.”