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Good News for the Goshalas!

submitted by Hema Malini d.d.

Posted September 9, 2004

Waste Not, Watts Got: Presenting 'Cow Power'

(WPTZ-TV) BURLINGTON, Vt. - A new source of power may soon be coming to a home near you. State regulators have given the go-ahead on a new plan to let dairy farmers turn cow manure into energy.

So far, only one farm has signed on to "cow power," but that farm is already anticipating the benefits already. Now, all the Blue Spruce farm needs is a permit to get it going.

Steve Costello from CVPS said it'll give "incentives to farmers, while offering consumers a fully renewable energy choice." The power will cost consumers a little more, but the benefit is that as long as there are cows, there will be energy.

"The smell in the 21-day process is 95 percent gone," Blue Spruce farmer Ernie Audet reported. He said he'll save $60,000 a year by replacing the sawdust cow bedding with manure, too. The smell not only disappears in heating but so do the pathogens, making Bessie's bed recycled manure.

"We can make it work, I think," Audet said.

Customers can choose to buy 25 percent, 50 percent, or all of their electricity through Cow Power.

Those who do will be charged an average of about $20 a month.

Since Audet's farm won't get permits until October, CVPS said it will offer alternatives and give incentives to other farmers who may need a hand with startup.