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Electricity from food scraps and manure: Massachusetts's first biogas facility to be dedicated this month

Casella Waste Systems Published on 26 May 2011

The first of five farm-based biogas plants that convert manure and food scraps into electricity for hundreds of homes will be dedicated in a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, May 31st at the Jordan Dairy Farm in Rutland, Massachusetts.

Governor Deval Patrick will join local farmers and other project partners to officially open the plant that helps solve several problems for the state's dairy industry: it will allow farms to better manage their manure, lower their energy and operating costs, and sell electricity to the grid to provide a new source of revenue. (One cow will create enough electricity to power a single home for a year.)

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Along with farm manure, the facility's anaerobic digester will also recycle food scraps and residue from food manufacturers that would normally end up in landfills, and convert it to energy and organic fertilizer. Hood, Kayem, Cabot and Cains have signed contracts to supply food scraps to the plant, and buy renewable power from the farm company formed to manage the venture -- Agreen Energy.

This unique project is the culmination of a 10-year dream by local dairy farmers and Agreen who developed a first-in-the-nation business model. quasar energy group perfected the made-in-US technology, and New England Organics, a division of Casella Waste Systems, will operate the facility. Coordinated state and federal energy and permitting policies also played a major role in making the facility possible, including the creation of the first pathway to permit smaller farms to use digesters as a business.

For an earlier report by CNET on the project, view the video below.

—From Casella Waste Systems news release

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