Having already been well known for building farm equipment, general contracting, metal fabrication and commercial/industrial plumbing, Andgar co-owners Andy Mellema and Gary Van Loo were presented with a new challenge in 2002. A local dairy farmer was considering a relatively new technology to capture methane from cow manure and turn it into biogas for electricity to send to the power grid.
Andy and Gary took the idea back to their team, challenging them to use their decades of construction expertise to bring the project to reality. After researching different digester technologies all over the world, they found one they could stand behind, a mixed-plug flow digester recently patented by an American company, DVO Inc.
The concept of turning farm economics on its head and being able to live their own values of stewardship for the planet excited Andy and Gary so much, they went back to the farmer with the designs, diagrams and cost estimates, and then they did something very unusual for most companies-they invested their own money in the project.
The partnership paid off, and over the last 12 years a dairy in Lynden, Washington has been reliably producing electricity from the only 100% American designed and built digester on the planet. Meanwhile, Andgar completed another 11 digester projects in Washington, Oregon and Idaho and has partnered with Washington State University's Center for Sustaining Agriculture and Natural Resources to study and engineer additional ways anaerobic digester technology can be used to turn organic waste into valuable products like biofertilizer to save farmers money or to be sold as an additional sources of revenue.
Now with Andy and Gary transitioning out of the daily grind after 40 years of serving their clients with honesty, integrity and quality, the company has looked to its team to provide a new generation of leadership, committed to those same values and ready to lead the company over new horizons with a new name that better reflects Andgar's renewable energy division-Regenis.