Wisconsin Biogas Anaerobic Digester Operations: Dairy Industry Case Studies

This report serves as a follow up to the 2021 Wisconsin Biogas and Feedstock Survey.

In this report we explore how anaerobic digesters are being used in Wisconsin’s agricultural sector today, including their advantages and disadvantages. We conducted on-site visits and interviews at two Wisconsin dairy farms with digesters and one multi-farm digester facility. We describe what has made these digesters successful, potential opportunities and roadblocks, and how they are choosing to move forward. We also provide a series of Wisconsin maps to take a preliminary look at the locations of dairy farms, natural gas pipelines, digesters, and the potential for renewable natural gas (RNG) production from dairy digesters.

Read the Wisconsin Anaerobic Digester Operations: Dairy Industry Case Studies.

The individual case studies are included in the report. You can also view and download each one separately:

Wisconsin Biogas and Feedstock Survey


This report is intended to quantify and support the biogas-related efforts in Wisconsin. Based on a new statewide Biogas Feedstock and Industry Survey, this report serves as a follow-up to a previous Biogas Survey Report conducted by Public Service Commission of Wisconsin, Office of Energy Innovation (OEI) in 2016. This current study will support Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Plan (to be released in 2021), a plan resulting from the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change Report (State of Wisconsin, 2020). 

The survey findings included in this report highlight the current status of biogas facilities including operation, maintenance, and sources of biodigester feedstocks. Survey results also identify biogas and energy production, process by-products, as well as industry opportunities and challenges, potential supportive policies and recommendations.

In partnership with OEI staff, the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point (UWSP) team designed a survey and sent it to more than 300 Wisconsin biogas facilities related to biogas operations, including dairy and agricultural operations, wastewater treatment facilities, landfills, industrial and food processing facilities. The data collection included both electronic and mail-in survey questionnaires. Eighty-two respondents participated in the survey providing valuable data and information. The findings from this study can be used to address the barriers and challenges of biogas industries and promote biogas production and use in Wisconsin.

Read the Wisconsin Biogas and Feedstock Survey Final Report.

​​Biogas in Wisconsin: Status, opportunities, and challenges

Biogas is a clean renewable gas locally produced from organic waste materials such as food waste,
agricultural residues and animal manure, energy crops, industrial organic waste and sewage sludge. Biogas production involves a natural process called “Anaerobic Digestion” in which bacteria and other microorganisms break down and digest carbon rich organic materials in the absence of oxygen. This process generates a mixture of methane and carbon dioxide, called biogas.

​Electric Vehicles (EVs)

Is Your Community Ready for Electric Vehicles? (Video) 

The number of electric vehicles (EVs) is increasing rapidly in the U.S. and worldwide. In the U.S., EVs have increased from 4,000 in 2010 to 1.3 million in 2020, with no sign of slowing down.1 

Watch this short video to learn about why people are switching to EVs and the need for expanded EV charging stations. 

Ready for Electric Vehicles?


This two-page fact sheet is intended for local government officials and the public to provide an introduction to electric vehicles (EVs), EV charging stations, and how to support EVs by including EV charging provisions in zoning ordinances.

Ready for Electric Vehicle? (2-page) in PDF format.

This 20-page publication is intended for local government officials and planning and zoning staff to provide an introduction to electric vehicles (EVs), and EV charging outlets. It also provides examples of how general zoning ordinances and building codes can be used to support EVs and benefit communities. 

Ready for Electric Vehicles? (20-page) in PDF format.

Rural EV Toolkit

Charging Forward - A Toolkit for Planning and Funding Rural Electric Mobility Infrastructure

This toolkit from the U.S. Department of Transporation is meant to be a one-stop resource to help rural communities scope, plan, and fund electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure. 

Charging Forward Toolkit (PDF)

Wood Energy

Exploring Wood Energy Utilization for Heating Schools in Wisconsin Progress

The intent of this study was to explore the potential of Wisconsin public school districts as a new market for the use of woody biomass residue in Wisconsin. Based on past use of woody biomass energy in Wisconsin, other states where woody biomass plays a major role in heat energy production, and case studies on school use of woody biomass energy, this study serves to culminate current wood energy use information and to fill a knowledge-gap in the potential use of wood energy by Wisconsin public school districts. Results of the study will help inform the WDNR and other pertinent agencies about the demand and challenges of utilizing woody biomass residue to heat Wisconsin public school districts. In terms of long-term prospects, it is expected that this study will also help contribute towards increased interest and funding for further woody biomass residue utilization in Wisconsin.

Exploring Wood Energy Utilization for Heating Schools in Wisconsin Progress in PDF format.