Regional Report: Bio-Methane Plant Proposed In Salisbury

Apr 12, 2013

A natural gas pipeline in Addison County is attracting attention of property owners along the proposed route. And it's not Vermont Gas's proposal to extend its pipeline south to Middlebury.

A Montpelier-based company wants to build a bio-methane gas production facility at a farm in Salisbury and then build a pipeline to send that gas to Middlebury College.

John Flowers has that story in the Addison Independent.

Integrated Energy Solutions would serve one principal client, Middlebury College, which is on a quest to become carbon neutral by 2016.

The plan would call for a bio-digester process to convert cow manure into a bio-gas that the college would burn at it's plant. If the project is built, it would displace 640,000 gallons of fuel oil.

The plant would be constructed at the Goodrich Farm in Salisbury, and could also get manure from other area farms.  The gas would go through a small transmission to the Vermont Gas pipeline project to Middlebury College.

"It's being portrayed as a win-win situation by the people engineering this project, it would not only provide Middlebury College with a source of renewable energy, it would provide the farmers with an additional outlet for the manure," Flowers explains. The liquid manure that comes out of the process would have less phosphorous when used as fertilizer and solid would be created that could be used as cow bedding.

"This operation is certainly being scrutinized by neighbors who are concerned about a lot of additional truck traffic, and some quite frankly smelly truck traffic at that," Flowers said

The plan would allow for people living close to the pipeline to tap into the gas-line.

The bio-methane plant would need and Act 250 review, a certificate of public good from the Public Service Board, as well as some local review.