U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined state and local officials today at the grand opening of New York state’s largest on-farm, ‘co-digestion’ biogas power project, marking an important boost to the state’s renewable energy production and sustainability efforts. The facility is located at Synergy Dairy, a 2,000-head dairy farm in Covington, Wyoming County, southwest of Rochester.
Schumer’s office also worked with the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency to help Synergy Biogas LLC complete the facility and partner with Cornell University and Rochester Institute of Technology to evaluate the project’s performance.The project is expected to reduce the dairy farm’s baselood greenhouse gas emissions by about 8,500 tons of CO 2 annually, which is equivalent to the CO 2 emissions of 1,700 automobiles. The facility also will produce an estimated 17,500 cubic yards of bedding material for livestock while reducing manure odors and helping the farm manage nutrients applied to cropland. Through its partnerships with local food manufacturers, Synergy Biogas LLC already has diverted more than 1.14 million gallons of food waste from landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, highlighting another environmental benefit of the project. “We are excited to launch our new co-digestion biogas project that will optimize the recycling of agricultural biomass waste into a valuable renewable energy resource to help reduce our operational costs,” said John Noble, president and CEO of Synergy Dairy. National Grid is supporting the project as part of its broader strategy to help upgrade New York state’s energy infrastructure, promote further economic growth in the region and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Under its renewable energy marketing program, the utility is purchasing the electricity generated by the biogas plant, which it states will produce approximately 10,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year—enough electricity to power nearly 1,000 homes. National Grid provided a $750,000 grant through the company’s Renewable Energy and Economic Development Program to cover the cost of building the substation that connects the facility to the grid . Northeast Energy Systems, a U.S. distributor of GE’s Jenbacher engines, supplied the engine to CH4 Biogas. Outlook Promising for More N.Y. Dairy Farm Digester Projects The Synergy Biogas LLC operation is the first of several N.Y. dairy farm digester projects that CH4 Biogas and GE Energy plan to build. Such projects illustrate how the state’s food and beverage industries can utilize their on-site waste streams to produce free fuel for power generation.
According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in 2011 the state had 5,300 dairy farms with more than 600,000 dairy cows. However, less than 20,000 of those cows were being utilized in energy production, through the use of 17 digesters that produce a combined 3 MW. As of 2011, an additional 17 digester systems were awaiting installation to generate a combined 6 MW.The Synergy project illustrates how incentives offered by NYSERDA are supporting the purchase, installation and operation of more anaerobic digester gas-to-energy systems to help the state create a more sustainable agricultural sector. In addition to NYSERDA and National Grid‘s respective financial support, the Synergy Biogas LLC project also qualified for a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) under the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. As part of the 2009 federal stimulus initiative, the U.S. Treasury will pay this tax credit as an ITC cash grant for qualifying projects that began construction before the end of 2011. Statements of Project Partners and Supporters, click here . To view b-roll on the Synergy Biogas LLC project, click here . To view a short video on how Synergy Biogas converts cow manure and food waste to energy, click here . About CH4 Biogas LLC CH4 Biogas is a renewable energy company that builds, owns and operates biogas based renewable energy facilities on farms and at food processing plants. These facilities provide environmentally friendly renewable energy and sustainable waste management solutions using internationally proven anaerobic digestion technology. More information is available on the company’s website www.ch4biogas.com and on Twitter @ch4biogas. About National Grid National Grid (LSE: NG; NYSE:NGG) is an electricity and gas company that connects consumers to energy sources through its networks. The company is at the heart of one of the greatest challenges facing our society - to create new, sustainable energy solutions for the future and developing an energy system that underpins economic prosperity in the 21st century. National Grid holds a vital position at the center of the energy system and it ‘joins everything up’. For more information please visit our website: www.nationalgridus.com. Follow us on Twitter, Watch us on You Tube, Friend us on Facebook, Find our photos on Flickr. About NYSERDA NYSERDA, a public benefit corporation, offers objective information and analysis, innovative programs, technical expertise and funding to help New Yorkers increase energy efficiency, save money, use renewable energy, and reduce their reliance on fossil fuels. NYSERDA professionals work to protect our environment and create clean-energy jobs. NYSERDA has been developing partnerships to advance innovative energy solutions in New York since 1975 . About GE GE (NYSE: GE) works on things that matter. The best people and the best technologies taking on the toughest challenges. Finding solutions in energy, health and home, transportation and finance. Building, powering, moving and curing the world. Not just imagining. Doing. GE works. For more information, visit the company's website at www.ge.com. Follow GE Energy on Twitter @GE_Energy. Photos/Multimedia Gallery Available: http://www.businesswire.com/cgi-bin/mmg.cgi?eid=50260168&lang=en