Four Vermont Farms Produce Cow Power

From left – Vermont farmer, Rob Achilles of the state Agency for Agriculture. Food & Markets along with Jim Muir and Mike Curtis discussing a new 100 kW digester for a 375 cow farm in Swanton.

Four Vermont farms have signed LOI’s to purchase a unique 100 kW anaerobic digester (video) during a time of depressed milk prices. Why? Because it is inexpensive and provides needed revenue streams for farms as small as 200 cows. The farms are in Addison, Franklin and Caledonia Counties.

Income will be electricity sales/offsets, free bedding, useful heat and more “plant available” liquid fertilizer. Excess solids can be sold as bedding to neighboring farms or as soil amendment to plant nurseries.

The smaller size is important because it means that farms throughout America can now benefit financially from a digester – even if they can’t profitably sell the electricity to the local utility. How is this possible? By taking the farm off grid and allowing the new digester to provide the farm’s electricity. Something that can cost $50,000 or more annually.

Dairy farmland in Addison County, future site of PlanET anaerobic digester. Green Mountains in distance.