Construction of Connecticut’s first biogas dairy digester system is almost complete.
The new facility at Fort Hill Farms in Thompson will recycle food waste and manure into renewable energy and soil products. Once complete, the digester is expected to produce 550 kW of electricity and reduce 25,000 tons of organic waste annually.
The project is progressing thanks to a partnership between the farm, Live Oak Bank, the Connecticut Green Bank, and Ag-Grid Energy.
“I want to thank everyone who played a role in helping this first-of-a-kind project in Connecticut become a reality, from the Department of Agriculture providing funding assistance through the Farm Transition Grant for the project’s planning phase to financing by the Green Bank,” said Governor Lamont.
“Scaling-up infrastructure that manages organic waste is so critical for our state’s sustainability goals. This innovative project is a win for our economy and our environment, and something that we hope to advance more of through the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection’s (DEEP) participation in the Connecticut Coalition for Sustainable Materials Management launched in August.”
Fort Hill Farms is a fourth-generation farm that currently has more than 400 cows and is part of two dairy farm cooperatives called The Farmer’s Cow and Agri-Mark (Cabot Cheese), which supplies products to large, big-box groceries and local markets.
Kies Orr, co-owner and operator of Fort Hill Farms, said: “Cows produce cow manure, which can fertilise your gardens or make electricity for your home. This completes the circle, growing the food to feed the cows, and then using cow manure to power our farm.
“It just feels good to be doing the right thing and being sustainable for the next generation.”
“Agri-Grid Energy is very excited to lead the installation of the first dairy digester that produces renewable electricity in the State of Connecticut,” said Dr Rashi Akki, founder and CEO of Ag-Grid Energy. “This project is a culmination of the state’s supportive net-metering and food waste diversion laws.”
Construction is expected to be completed in December.