Vermont residents plug into ‘Cow Power’

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A program offering renewable energy from Vermont’s dairies is now available throughout the state.

A recent decision by the Vermont Public Service Board approved expanding the program statewide. Green Mountain Power, the largest electric utility in Vermont, uses methane gas from manure at 12 of the state’s dairies to power special generators.

Residents can tap into ‘Cow Power,’ but using the renewable energy source requires an added fee. Participants in the program pay an extra four cents per kilowatt hour.

The Associated Press reports 16 million kilowatt-hours of power are provided each year by the 12 participating farms. The power generated by those 12 dairies is enough to completely power 2,200 average Vermont homes.

The program offers an additional revenue source for the farmers who are paid for the energy at rates set by the state.

According to GMP’s website, the process to convert methane gas to energy yields two other byproducts used on the farm, bedding for cows and fertilizer.

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