Sam & Kelly on Renewable Energy from Hog Waste

Sam & Kelly on Renewable Energy from Hog Waste

Storms Farm is a 600-acre farm in North Carolina that houses more than 25,000 hogs and 400,000 chickens. In 2010, owner Billy Storms undertook a five-million-dollar endeavor with WithersRavenel to turn his swine waste into renewable energy. Over the next seven years, the farm produced anywhere from 40,000 to 60,000 gallons of swine waste each day for renewable energy production, and recently added the ability to recover about 15 tons a day of bio-solids that are used as fertilizer. Sam Ravenel, PE and Kelly Stefanski team up to talk about how Storms Farm was designed with new technologies and growth in mind, allowing the farm to stay at the forefront of biogas and methane production from animal waste. They will show how the original swine waste collection project, the 600 kW electrical plant that came online in 2013, and the second 600 kW generator and a dewatering facility added in 2016 all work together to make Storms Farm a model for other farms seeking to successfully produce abundant renewable energy.

Sam Ravenel, PE is a Co-founder and Executive Vice President of WithersRavenel and a former Assistant State Dam Safety Engineer for the State of North Carolina. He has extensive experience in hydraulic and hydrologic analysis and many years of experience in commercial and residential land development.

Kelly Stefanski is a Staff Professional who supports the Utilities team on water and wastewater design projects by developing technical specifications, performing cost estimating, and completing state-required permit applications. Her key goal is taking what she has learned in obtaining a Masters of Engineering at Cornell for real-world use in consulting engineering.

This presentation is unique because it will be co-hosted by two utilities professionals who have very different experiences with the topic: Sam has been a lead on the Storms Farm project since its inception, whereas Kelly has only recently joined the project team after coming on board with WithersRavenel in early 2018. The project and the presentation reflect WithersRavenel’s commitment to professional mentoring, and the specific efforts of the Utilities Department to pair up-and-coming engineers with industry veterans.

“Over the past year, the WithersRavenel Utilities Department has staffed up with six additional staff professionals to provide a deeper bench to serve our clients well. By pairing them up with our senior staff—many of whom have 20-30 years of experience—we are creating a solid future and providing cost-effective solutions in the process.”

This preview is part of our AWWA Speaker Preview series, which highlights the WithersRavenel staff invited to speak at the 2018 NC AWWA-WEA Annual Conference. For more previews, follow along during the week of October 29 through November 2, or click here to see all of the posts in the series.