Middlebury College will continue to reduce its carbon footprint thanks to an innovative partnership with Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, Vermont, Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley, Massachusetts, and VGS. Vanguard Renewables owns and operates the Farm Powered Anaerobic Digestion facility at Goodrich Family Farm where cow manure and food and beverage waste are combined to produce Renewable Natural Gas (RNG). The Goodrich Family Farm is a generational dairy farm with 900 milking cows and is a member of the Agri-Mark Cabot Creamery Cooperative.
Much of the renewable natural gas produced by the Goodrich Farm digester travels by pipeline to Middlebury College’s main power plant. Middlebury has agreed to purchase the bulk of the facility’s output as part of Middlebury’s Energy2028, a 10-year commitment to shift completely to renewable energy to power its central campus.
We are constantly looking for ways to make our energy sources sustainable and diverse. The digester project is a great opportunity to further decrease our use of carbon-based fuels.
— David Provost, executive vice president finance and administration, Middlebury College
The Farm Powered project at Goodrich Farm does more than produce renewable natural gas. The project features an extensive phosphorus removal system to protect the Otter Creek Watershed which feeds into Lake Champlain. Additionally, the facility will generate high quality, low carbon liquid fertilizer that will reduce the farm’s reliance on synthetic, chemical fertilizers. The farm will also benefit with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, animal bedding, and an annual lease payment for hosting the anaerobic digester facility.