ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — The Maryland Board of Public Works has approved a lease agreement for a facility at the Eastern Correctional Institution that will turn chicken manure into energy.

The board approved the agreement with ECOCORP Inc. on Wednesday.

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The lease agreement was needed to build what’s known as an anaerobic digester facility, which will supply a portion of power needs at the prison in Somerset County.

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The digester will use heat to deodorize and sterilize manure, while using the methane gas it produces to generate electricity.

Officials hope to have the facility operational in June 2013.

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