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 150 kW digester for a 375 cow farm in Swanton.

Five Vermont farms have signed LOI’s to purchase a unique 100kW-150kW anaerobic digester (video). Why? Because it is inexpensive and provides needed revenue streams for farms between 250 and 750 adult cows. The farms are in Franklin, LeMoille and Caledonia Counties.

Income will be electricity sales/offsets, free bedding, useful heat and more “plant available” liquid fertilizer. Excess bedding solids can be sold to neighboring farms and used bedding will be sold to a compost company!

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.

Agricultural Digesters LLC will develop digesters at two farms on Grand Isle, VT. These “Watershed Digesters” will also reduce phosphorus runoff into Lake Champlain.