Bovinos de Valencia, an industrial farm in Vilamarxant (Valencia, Spain) has started building a plant that will transform animal manure from the farm into biogas. The plant will start working at the beginning of 2008 and will use a manure depuration system to extract gas that will be used in a co-generative power plant to obtain electric power and heating. The remains of the manure will be used to produce fertilizers (that's what my grandpa always did with that).
With this process, the pollution hazards and the odour will be reduced drastically. Spain has a long history of problems with industrial farms, ranging from phosphate pollution in most rivers to aggressive council campaigns against odour.
The plant is expected to deal with 35,000 tons (metric) of manure per year, coming from their own farm and will generate round 4 million kWh per year, which is the equivalent of the energy used by 1,142 average Spanish homes.
Bovinos de Valencia has a capacity of 5,400 animals (beef cows) and not only includes this innovative (at least for Southern Europe) plant but photovoltaic and windmill generators to complement the output, which allows full energy independence for the farm.
[Source: Generalitat Valenciana]