Central Vermont Public Service March 30, 2006The Ultimate in Recycling: Four more farms plan CVPS Cow Power” generators, receive grantsRUTLAND CVPS Cow Power” is on the moooove, with four Vermont farms receiving CVPS Renewable Development Fund grant offers totaling $666,000 to defray the cost of building new farm based electric generating systems to support the states largest renewable energy program, Central Vermont Public Service announced today.Farms in Sheldon, Fairlee, West Pawlet and St. Albans will receive the grants from the CVPS Renewable Development Fund, set up in 2004 to encourage farm owners to develop new renewable generation and provide new manure management options.These grants will help develop about 8,400 megawatt-hours of clean renewable energy right here in Vermont, CVPS President Bob Young said. Thats enough energy to supply 1,395 average homes using 500 kWh per month.CVPS Cow Power” is the nations only direct farm-to-consumer renewable energy program, working with dairy farmers who want to process their cow manure and other farm waste to generate electricity. More than 2,500 CVPS customers have enrolled in the program so far, which provides farms with new manure management options, environmental benefits and income. The process reduces emissions of methane, which is roughly 20 times more effective as a greenhouse gas at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide.The reduced methane from these four farms will provide an environmental benefit equivalent to taking xxxx??? cars off the road, CVPS spokesman Steve Costello said.The four farms include:” Montagne Farms in St. Albans, two farms owned by Dave Montagne, with 1,200 cows expected to produce 1.7 million kilowatt-hours of energy per year;” Green Mountain Dairy in Sheldon, owned by Brian and Bill Rowell, with 1,050 cows expected to produce 1.7 million kilowatt-hours per year;” Newmont Farms in Fairlee, owned by Walter Gladstone, with 1,020 cows expected to produce 1.4 million kilowatt-hours per year;” And Deer Flats Farm in West Pawlet, owned by Dick and Rich Hulett, who plan to use surplus crops and 270 cows to produce 3.6 million kilowatt-hours per year.The farms need Vermont Public Service Board approval to interconnect the generators, but all hope to be on-line later this year. CVPSs first Cow Power producer, Blue Spruce Farm in Bridport, has been generating energy for over a year, serving as an example to other farms. The Audet family, which operates Blue Spruce, says they have a new revenue stream, eliminated over $60,000 in bedding costs annually by using dry solids left over from the digestion process, and substantially cut fuel bills by using waste heat from the generator to heat the office, the milking parlor, and hot water used for washing the milking equipment.Cow Power has done everything wed hoped it would do for us, and more, Earl Audet said. Its given us new income stream, reduced our costs, provided us options for handling our manure, and virtually eliminated the odor of manure spreading.CVPS customers can sign up to get all, half or a quarter of their electrical energy through CVPS Cow Power”. Customers pay a premium of 4 cents per kilowatt hour for CVPS Cow Power”, which goes to participating farm-producers, to purchase renewable energy credits when enough farm energy isnt available, or to the CVPS Renewable Development Fund. Farm-producers are also paid 95 percent of the market price for the electricity sold to CVPS.To generate the biogas fuel, manure is held in a sealed concrete tank at the same temperature as a cows stomach, 101 degrees. Bacteria digest the volatile components of the manure, creating biogas while killing pathogens and weed seeds. The biogas, which is part methane, fuels an engine/generator, and the energy is put onto CVPSs power lines for delivery to customers.
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