Clean Power, Cleaner Lake
Green Mountain Power along with Franklin County leaders and champions of Lake Champlain have announced an innovative new project called Clean Power, Cleaner Lake. The program is the most substantive effort launched in the Lake Champlain basin to reduce phosphorus while generating electricity. Working with area dairy farms, this effort will significantly reduce phosphorus runoff while generating clean, local baseload power. This exciting initiative alone will achieve about 1/3 of the EPA's goal for phosphorus reduction by farms in the St. Albans Bay. GMP's community digester will use technology to extract phosphorus from the manure stream, while generating renewable energy locally for customers.
"This first-of-its-kind innovative partnership is a model for how to create collaborations that leverage value for customers, the community and our environment to make our state a healthier, stronger place to live. We are so grateful to our farm partners and local leaders who are working with us to take immediate and significant steps to help clean up Lake Champlain by reaching a third of the farm reduction required by the EPA for this area," said GMP President and CEO Mary Powell. "As Vermont's energy company of the future, we are focused on delivering new innovations that will dramatically improve our state, while we continue to provide clean, cost-effective and reliable power."
GMP has initial plans for five community digesters across the region to help clean up Lake Champlain. The first digester in St. Albans Town will provide tremendous benefits including:
CLEAN POWER: The digester will generate enough renewable electricity to power about 700 homes a year.
CLEANER AIR: The digester will reduce greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to taking over 1,000 cars off the Vermont roads a year.
CLEANER WATER: The digester helps us reduce harmful phosphorus pollution by 32 percent of TMDL for St. Albans Bay.
CLEAN FARMS: Our farm partners will use remaining organic fibers from the digester process as environmentally sustainable fertilizer and farm bedding.
AGRICULTURAL VALUE: Partnerships provide sustainable, long-term revenue for Vermont farmers.
ODOR REDUCTION: Digesters significantly reduce farm odors to surrounding areas.
"Partnering with our neighbors and GMP in this exciting project will help us stay on the leading edge of innovation as we continue to try to be a part of the solution."
-Paul Bourbeau, St. Albans Town Farmer
Photo by Tim Peters Photo