updated 2/4/2008 12:45:19 PM ET 2008-02-04T17:45:19

Fresh milk from 1,100 cows will help heat up the historic salons of an 18th century castle in southwestern Sweden, according to the dairy producer that operates on the estate.

Although the 7,900 gallons of milk per day is still destined for consumers, the heat that it releases as it is chilled will warm a gym, a workshop, and a 50-room accommodation complex.

"We knew that there was a lot of energy when chilling the milk — which we do to make sure it stays fresh — and so we decided to try to put it to use," said Lennart Bengtsson, the chief executive of Wapno AB, which runs the dairy production on the castle estate situated near Halmstad, around 310 miles southwest of Stockholm.

Bengtsson said the estate had considered both biogas and windpower solutions as the castle looked to shift from its old oil-heating system, but that it finally settled on its own environmentally friendly "milk-heating" solution.

The castle's milk-heating system will start up in the next few weeks, while other buildings will be added at a later stage.

"It's fantastic that cows can provide such different forms of energy for people," Bengtsson said.

Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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