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Connecticut’s dairy digester system nears completion

Published by
Energy Global,

In summer 2020, ground was broken at Fort Hill Farms in Thompson, US, to begin the construction of Connecticut’s first biogas dairy digester system that will recycle food waste and manure into renewable energy and soil products.

The project is moving forward thanks to a partnership between the farm, Live Oak Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, and Ag-Grid Energy LLC. When completed, the digester is expected to produce 550 kW of electricity and reduce 25 000 tpy of organic waste.

Fort Hill Farms is a fourth-generation farm that currently has over 400 cows, 230 milking, and is part of two dairy farm co-operatives, The Farmer's Cow and Agri-Mark, which supply products to both large, big box groceries and local markets.

The digester project was developed by Ag-Grid Energy LLC, a company focused on anaerobic digestion technology, and is being constructed by Martin Construction Resource.

There are a number of benefits of integrating an anaerobic digester with a dairy farm. It helps to enhance farm sustainability with improved manure management, generates an additional income stream for the farm, and produces steady electricity generation. A digester also helps reduce methane emissions coming from cow manure, improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gases.

This project is being financed by Live Oak Bank as the senior lender, the ‘small business administration lender and development company loan’ programme, a grant from the USDA ‘rural energy for America’ programme, a grant from the Connecticut department of agriculture, and the developer’s own equity investment.

Construction is anticipated to be completed in December 2020.

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