Energy from the birds

Minnesota poultry farmers are helping to turn turkey litter into a new source of energy by selling the waste to a new power plant that runs on the byproduct. Located in rural Benson, the Fibrominn facility produces enough energy to power 50,000 homes.

The $200 million plant went online in June and is the first of its kind in the country. It was built by Philadelphia-based Fibrowatt. While Minnesota reportedly is home to more turkeys than any other state, the company is planning to expand its venture to other states, including North Carolina.

Despite its label as renewable energy, the litter-fired plant is being criticized. Some opponents say the litter is more valuable as an organic fertilizer.