RDP project database
Setting up a Biogas Co-generation System
The installation of a biomass cogeneration plant enabled a farm to diversify income while reducing cost. The project is enhancing cooperation between farmers in the region and promotes the use of environmentally-friendly farming practices.
Aldo and Enrico Bruno’s holding, a 200 ha mixed livestock and arable farm in the region of Lazio, decided to diversify its economic activity by building a co-generation plant. The farm, with 700 head of stock, is one of the biggest milk producers in the region. The construction of the plant enabled the farm to convert livestock manure and crop residue into combined heat/electricity production. The energy produced is used for farm activities which reduces cost. Over-production is sold to a national energy provider (Gestore dei Servizi Energetici – GSE S.p.A.).
The main objective was to build the infrastructure to allow for the production of bio-energy from manure and crops. Other important objectives were to diversify farm activities and integrate the income, while simultaneously introducing environmentally-friendly farming practices, based on recycling livestock effluents and agricultural residues.
The construction of the co-generation plant was the main activity. It produces thermal energy and electricity through anaerobic digestion of livestock effluents and agricultural crops. The remaining composted digestate is used to fertilize the soil. 70% of the feedstock used in the plant is produced on the farm, while the remaining 30% is provided by local farms. Plant visits are organised by the beneficiaries to share their experience with other entrepreneurs.
Results & Benefits
The investment enabled the farm to: improve the management and reduce the cost of waste disposal; diversify income; and reduce the cost of electricity and organic fertilizer inputs. The annual profit is around €300,000-350,000 and over 5-6 years the investment will be recouped. The project is increasing innovative entrepreneurial behaviour in the region, alongside the use of environmentally-friendly farming practices which preserve natural resources.
The project drove cooperation between local farmers, who provide the feedstock that guarantees the utilisation of the plant’s full capacity. Access to additional public funds (mainly national) supported investment in a second plant. Some difficulties in realising the project arose from national legislation, which was not well defined. The establishment of clearer administrative and legislative framework would simplify the implementation of similar projects.
Project location and other information
The company is localised in Sutri, in the Viterbo province.
Total project cost (€)
EAFRD contribution (€)
National contribution (€)
Languages for contact
At a glance
Final beneficiary type
> €500 000
Theme / Measure:
Rural Quality of Life & Economic Diversification
Rural economic diversification
311. Diversification into non-agricultural activities
Agricultural waste, Bioenergy, Recycling, Innovation, Sustainable agriculture