Congratulations to Thomas and Nancy Kane
Last Friday I visited Tom and Nancy Kane at the Scenic River Farm in Enosburg. On November 3rd their new methane digester project came on-line. The project consists of a 800,000 gallon GDF digester producing methane to power a 225 KW Martin Machinery biogas engine/genset.
I met with Nancy first to go over paperwork and let her know the schedule for billing and payment. I mentioned to Nancy that because they were one of the first “new” farms to get into the SPEED Standard Offer program they will be getting 16 cents/Kwh. She responded immediately with "I'd prefer 17 cents ". (Bill Rowell told me later that day that "for the record I'd prefer 17 cents also").
Ashley Kane then took me on a tour through the barns that ended at the new generator building. Martin Machinery has again completed a first-class installation with all the machinery newly painted and all the piping painted and labeled. Tom told me that he wanted to have plenty of room in his powerhouse, and in fact, the powerhouse is spacious. Ashley told me her Dad had been pretty stressed this summer with all the construction. Tom seemed relaxed last Friday. He was probably satisfied to get the construction done and the first oil change accomplished, all before deer season.
Farmers, Tom Kane and daughter Ashley Kane, in front of new Martin Machinery Genset
Obviously, Ashley is the brains of the outfit and Tom is the pretty face.
Another view of the Genset
In addition to the waste heat from the engine/generator heating the digester, waste heat is also used to heat washdown water, reducing the fossil fuel use on the farm
I went from the Kane's to the Gervais Farm in West Enosburg. I met with Clement Gervais. Clement is the "king" of single phase interconnections. He has a Martin Machinery three phase engine/genset that has been modified to put out about 200 KW, single phase. The system has been on-line with no problems since 2008. Clement, with the help of his electrical engineer, Dan Crockett, is now planning a second engine/genset ( he is currently flaring excess gas) that will also use a single phase interconnection. Luckily for Clement there are two single phase distribution circuits that go past the farm. Both engine/gensets are in the SPEED Standard Offer program.
My last visit of the day was with Bill Rowell at the Green Mountain Dairy in Sheldon, Vermont. Wow, what a farm. No wonder Bill is Chairman of the National Dairy Producers Organization. Bill has a 300 KW project that came into the SPEED Standard Offer program as an existing cow power project. Bill is also planning a second engine/genset, but to his chagrin he did not get into the SPEED Standard Offer Program before the 50 MW cap had been reached. Bill has a backup plan and is planning to go forward as a "net metered" project. Maybe the Legislature will open up more space in the SPEED Standard Offer Program this winter.