Project Description

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.

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FARM FACTS

  • Generational Vermont dairy farm
  • Located in Salisbury, Vermont

  • Owned and operated by the Goodrich family

  • 900 milking cows on site

  • 1750 acres of hay

  • 650 acres of corn

DIGESTER FACTS

  • Two 660,000-gallon capacity tanks

  • Phosphorus management system

  • Hydrolyzer

FARM BENEFITS

  • Income diversification via annual lease payment for land use

  • Liquid, low-carbon fertilizer to increase crop yields and reduce chemical fertilizer use

  • Separated solids for animal bedding

  • Phosphorus reduction to protect sensitive watershed area

  • Reduced GHG emissions

Annual Digester Input

3,650 tons of manure
66,000 tons of organics

Annual Digester Output
RNG and Electricity

180,000 Mcf/y of baseload Renewable Natural Gas for pipeline injection
600kW of Renewable Electricity

Gas produced by the Farm Powered anaerobic digester will travel 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.

Goodrich Farm in the News

Methane from manure: An income stream to consider

For all the challenges associated with manure, there’s a positive side to this organic substance, as a source of renewable energy that goes well beyond its traditional use as a fertilizer. Vanguard Renewables is working with dairy farms across the nation to solve organic waste disposal challenges, while at the same time producing renewable natural gas that will generate an income stream.

Vermont dairy farmers hope anaerobic digester can provide financial boost

The Goodrich Family of Goodrich Family Farm in Salisbury, VT is hopeful the Farm Powered anaerobic digester being constructed by Vanguard Renewables will provide a financial boost to the farm, reduce the farm’s environmental impact, and offer lessons for other farmers seeking revenue from renewable natural gas.

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