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Check it out: Largest anaerobic digester in Northeast officially begins operation


July 29, 2021
By Bree Rody


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As anaerobic digesters increase in popularity throughout North America, another major project has pressed the “start” button.

Representatives from Middlebury College, Goodrich Farm, Vanguard Renewables, VGS and the state of Vermont officially marked the startup of the largest anaerobic digester in the Northeast on July 21. The primary consumer of the energy generated by the digester will be Middlebury College, while the raw material will be produced by Goodrich Farm in Salisbury.

The digester, which is built, owned and operated by Vanguard Renewables, has a daily capacity of 180 tons of food and beverage waste as well as 100 tons of dairy manure.

“The Goodrich Farm digester is the first star in a constellation of projects that will provide homegrown energy to Vermonters,” said Neale Lunderville, president and CEO of VGS, in a statement. “This farm, which began in 1956 with 10 cows, not only turns food scraps and manure from its now 900-head herd into renewable energy; it removes harmful methane from the atmosphere and phosphorus from the digestate that might otherwise drain into our watersheds and impact Lake Champlain. This is a great model, and we’re excited to continue working with our local farms to help Vermont meet its energy goals.”

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