Bioenergy

US Forest Service Turns to Cow Power

The U.S. Forest Service announced that in seeking to reduce its environmental impact, it has enrolled its Rutland, Vermont headquarters in CVPS Cow Power, one of the nation’s first manure-based farm-to-consumer energy programs.

“As we looked at ways to reduce the impact of our energy usage, enrolling in CVPS Cow Power had a great impact,” said Forest Service Supervisor Meg Mitchell. “We are supporting a working landscape, helping to improve water quality and removing methane from the atmosphere.”

The Forest Service will pay approximately US $2,100 more for electricity per year through this enrollment. The funds, paid through a US $0.04 premium on 25 percent of the Forest Service’s electrical usage, will go to farm-producers who supply renewable energy, other renewable products, or incentives to help more farms get into the energy business. The Forest Service joins 4,000 other CVPS customers in the program, which is expected to add its fifth farm producer within the next month.

The US $0.04 premium goes to participating farm-producers, to purchase renewable energy credits when enough farm energy isn’t available, or to the CVPS Renewable Development Fund. The fund provides grants to farm owners to develop on-farm generation. Farm-producers are also paid 95 percent of the market price for all of the energy sold to CVPS.