CVPS Cow Power, Blue Spruce Farm receive Vermont’s highest environmental honor
By Manure Manager
By Manure Manager
CVPS Cow Power, said to be the
first manure-to-energy renewable choice program in the United States,
and Blue Spruce Farm, its first energy producer, were recently honored
with the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
CVPS Cow Power, said to be the first manure-to-energy renewable choice program in the United States, and Blue Spruce Farm, its first energy producer, were recently honored with the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence.
The award, the state of Vermont’s highest environmental award, was given in honor of environmental benefits that include improved air and water quality, reduced greenhouse gases, and generation of clean, renewable energy. The award was presented to CVPS Cow Power co-ordinator David Dunn and Marie Audet of Blue Spruce Farm by Governor James Douglas during a ceremony at the Statehouse.
“Through their partnership, the Audet family and Central Vermont Public Service have given new economic hope to many of our Vermont farms while providing customers a fully renewable energy choice,” Douglas said. “In creating CVPS Cow Power, the company built an entirely new economic and environmental model for manure management, and the Audets were brave enough to become pioneers and prove that it would work.”
The environmental benefits of the system are significant. They include:
• The capture of methane, which is roughly 20 times worse than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere.
• Destruction of pathogens, including E. coli, in the manure.
• Destruction of weed seeds, which may reduce the need for herbicides.
• Reduced fossil fuel use through the use of generator heat to produce hot water.
• Replacement of sawdust bedding with dry solids, and reduced fossil fuels for hauling sawdust.
• Virtual elimination of odor when spreading liquid manure on fields.
“We are honored to receive this award as an affirmation of the commitment throughout our farming community to manage the waste we produce in an environmentally responsible way,” Marie Audet said. “We are also humbled by the thousands of people paying a little extra each month, making a statement that they not only support renewable energy, but agriculture in Vermont.”