Vanguard Renewables wins award for anaerobic digester project

Vanguard Renewables wins award for anaerobic digester project

The project will generate biogas from manure and food waste and convert it to pipeline-quality gas for use by Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont.

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November 5, 2019

Vanguard Renewables, Wellesley Hills, Massachusetts, and Vermont Gas (VGS), South Burlington, Vermont, announced that they received the 2019 American Biogas Council Up-and-Coming Biogas Project award for their work on the Goodrich Farm anaerobic digester project in Salisbury, Vermont. The American Biogas Council made the announcement at the organization’s awards ceremony Oct. 29.

The Goodrich Farm anaerobic digester project is a unique partnership between Vanguard Renewables, VGS, Middlebury College and the Goodrich family, which owns and operates the farm. According to the companies, the project will generate biogas from manure and food waste and convert it to pipeline-quality gas for use by Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, and VGS’s customers.

“Even though this project just began construction, it is already groundbreaking in many ways. Incredible things can be done when a university, utility and industry come together with a common commitment to protect our environment with a biogas system that recycles organic material and produces renewable energy,” American Biogas Council Executive Director Patrick Serfass says. “We want to celebrate this cooperation and vision and hope others will replicate it.”

Construction on the farm-powered anaerobic digester will be completed in 2020. Renewable natural gas produced there will travel by pipeline to Middlebury College’s main powerplant and will supply about half of the energy that Middlebury uses for heating and cooling. Vanguard Renewables will build, own and operate the digester, which will process 100 tons of manure and 180 tons of organic food waste daily into RNG.

At the awards, Vanguard also received the 2019 Longevity Award for its anaerobic digester facility at Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, Massachusetts. This award recognizes a project in operation for five years or longer. Jordan Dairy Farms was the first dairy in Massachusetts to use anaerobic digester technology to blend farm manure and food waste to produce renewable power. The digester system has been in operation since 2011.

“We are so honored to work with farms across the United States—from the early days of biogas production, through the industry’s rapid growth, to this exemplary partnership with VGS,” John Hanselman, Vanguard Renewables chairman and CEO, says. “It’s amazing to be recognized for our latest project at Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, and to receive the 2019 Longevity Award for our legacy digester facility at Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, Massachusetts, on the same night.”

“VGS is the first local distribution company in the country to offer customers retail renewable natural gas service. The digester in Salisbury will bring a local source of RNG to our customers and a host of environmental benefits to the communities we serve and to our state,” Don Rendall, president and CEO of VGS, says. “Our commitment to reduce carbon and cost through our award-winning efficiency services [and] innovative programs such as the Salisbury digester is unwavering. This is the next logical step in our work toward a cleaner energy future and meeting our state’s ambitious carbon reduction goals, and we are proud to be a part of it.”

The Goodrich Farm digester is expected to produce 180,000 mcf per year.

Located on more than 2,400 acres, the Goodrich Family Farm is a generational dairy farm with 900 milking cows. It is a member of the Agri-Mark Cabot Creamery Cooperative, headquartered in Waitsfield, Vermont.

“Our family is excited to see this project transition from a dream into a reality,” Chase Goodrich, a fourth-generation owner of the Goodrich Family Farm, says. “We want to express our thanks to our wonderful partners, as well as countless others who helped us accomplish this goal.”