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American Biogas Council honours Vanguard Renewables

Recognized project sells renewable gas to end customers


November 15, 2019
By Vanguard Renewables

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Vanguard Renewables and Vermont Gas (VGS) won the 2019 American Biogas Council Up-an-Coming Biogas Project award at the organization’s awards ceremony on Oct. 29. The award recognized the company’s Goodrich Farm Anaerobic Digester project in Salisbury, Vt.

The project is a partnership among Vanguard Renewables, VGS, Middlebury College, and the Goodrich Family. It will generate biogas from manure and food waste and convert it to pipeline quality gas for use by Middlebury College and VGS’s customers. This project is the first to sell renewable gas to end customers and is now bringing diversity to the industry by developing markets for RNG.

“Even though this project just began construction, it is already groundbreaking in many ways,” Patrick Serfass, American Biogas Council executive director, said. “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. 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. RNG produced there will travel by pipeline to Middlebury College’s main power plant and will supply about half of the energy that Middlebury uses for heating and cooling. Wellesley, Mass.-based 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.

Vanguard also received the 2019 Longevity Award for its Farm Powered anaerobic digester facility at Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, Mass. 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 honoured 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, said. “It’s amazing to be recognized for our latest project at Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vt. and to receive the 2019 Longevity Award for our legacy digester facility at Jordan Dairy Farms in Rutland, Mass. on the same night.”

“VGS is the first local distribution company in the country to offer customers retail renewable natural gas service,” Don Rendall, president and CEO of VGS, said. “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. Our commitment to reduce carbon and cost through our award-winning efficiency services, 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.

“Our family is excited to see this project transition from a dream into a reality,” Chase Goodrich, who is among the fourth generation of his family to operate their farm, said. “We want to express our thanks to our wonderful partners as well as countless others who helped us accomplish this goal.”