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Green Mountain Power 163 Acorn Lane Colchester, VT 05446 1-888-835-4672

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How it Works

Easily the coolest thing you can do with cow manure.

The short version is that we take cow manure, work some magic, turn it into methane, and then use that methane to generate electricity. But you’re not here for the short version.

Much like any other animal on this planet, cows poop. In fact, they poop a lot. GMP Cow Power creates incentives for farmers to take that cow manure and feed it into an anaerobic digester on site at the farm. The digester is built to hold 21 days worth of farm waste at roughly 100°F. Bacteria in the digester convert the waste into various products, one of which is methane gas. The gas produced by the bacteria is then delivered to a modified natural gas engine. The biogas fuels the engine, which in turn spins an electric generator to create electricity. Heat generated from this process is repurposed to keep the digester warm, which offsets fuel purchases on the farm. The energy generated is then fed into the GMP electrical system for distribution to customers.

What about the solid waste left over? The digested manure is processed through a mechanical separator. The odorless solids can be used to replace sawdust or sand as bedding for the animals. Solids not used for bedding may be further processed and sold as fertilizer.

Infographic courtesy of our friends at Vermont Hard Cider (Woodchuck Hard Cider). Learn more about how they use Cow Power here.

GMP Cow Power is a big step in the right direction toward more renewable sources of energy. Click here to enroll in the GMP Cow Power program and support your fellow Vermonters.

Watch this PBS America Revealed segment to see GMP Cow Power in action!