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.
Synergy Biogas LLC codigestion biogas power plant at Synergy Dairy, Covington, N.Y. (Photo: Business Wire)
Biogas LLC built, owns and operates the project under the name
Synergy Biogas LLC. The Synergy Biogas LLC plant also is the state's
first biogas project specifically designed for the co-digestion, or
processing, of animal and food wastes. The biogas created in the
120,000-gallon co-digester is fueling a GE (NYSE: GE)
J420 biogas engine to generate 1.4 megawatts (MW) of renewable
By anaerobically digesting waste from local food processors in addition
to the dairy's cow manure, the 425 ton per day, mixed-waste facility is
more cost-effective. The facility has created about a half dozen jobs
while enhancing the efficiency of the 30-employee farm's operations and
sustaining area food manufacturers and haulers.
York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is
providing $1 million in incentives for the facility.
"This Synergy co-digestion biogas project is the cutting edge of energy
technology and is an absolute revenue-producing game changer for our
dairies and local economies. By recycling agricultural waste in biogas
plants, dairies can reduces disposal costs, produce affordable renewable
energy to run their operations and gain a revenue source by selling
excess power to the grid. I've been proud to help keep this project on
track to ensure it crossed the finish line," said Senator Schumer, whose
office helped coordinate federal and local funding for the project.
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 CO2 annually, which is
equivalent to the CO2 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.
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.
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
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
To view b-roll on the Synergy Biogas LLC project, click
To view a short video on how Synergy Biogas converts cow manure and
food waste to energy, click
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,
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Tube, Friend us on Facebook,
Find our photos on Flickr.
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.
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.
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Chet Lasell, + 1 518 269 9387
Virginia Limmiatis, +1 315 428 5029
Lauren Toretta, +1 917 734 2237
of U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer
Matt House, + 1 202 360 8132
Muller, +1 518 862 1090 x3582