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Dairy Farm Ties Into Grid With Methane Plant

dairy cowWestminster Farms, a Vermont dairy company, partnered with Green Mountain Power to build an on-site plant to convert methane into electricity.

The project, which cost more than $1 million, will provide enough 225 kilowatts, or enough electricity to power 250 homes, using methane gathered from piles of stinky manure from 1,200 cattle.

For Westminster Farms, there is an extra benefit of saving $80,000 a year in energy costs, or about the amount of money the dairy spends annually on bedding for its cattle, according to a press release.

A number of entities contributed funding to the project:

  • Westminster Farms invested nearly $700,000 in the project.
  • The U.S. Department of Agriculture provided $358,993 in rural development grants and $348,268 in loan guarantees.
  • The Vermont Clean Energy Development Fund provided $250,000.
  • Green Mountain Power committed $175,000.
  • The Vermont Department of Agriculture provided a $50,000 grant as well as $10,000 from the Renewable Energy for America Program.
  • The Vermont Agricultural Credit Corporation (VACC), the agricultural financing program of the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA), approved $348,268 to support the digester project.
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