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New York Governor Andrew Cuomo will make available nearly $21 million to New York dairy farmers to convert farm waste to energy.


Cuomo said the project aims to help dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy and develop business and environmental plans to reduce operating costs and increase profitability.

Most of the funding targets anaerobic digestion. “Farmers that utilize anaerobic digester technology are able to produce renewable energy and lower their costs while providing a number of environmental benefits to their local communities,” said John Rhodes, president and chief executive officer, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA).

Twenty million dollars will be available through NYSERDA to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic waste. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites will be eligible for up to $2 million per project.

During the past 10 years, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority have awarded nearly $30 million toward anaerobic digestion projects and related technology. The funding currently supports 20 operational digester projects.

The digester technology funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible projects.

Funding for the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will be increased by $850,000, which is in addition to the $1 million previously announced by the governor in August.
Payments under DAP may include: up to $5,000 per farm to write a business plan or develop a combination of a business and facility growth plan; and up to $4,500 to update an existing Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) or $6,000 to develop a new one. Additional funds also will be available to design farm practices described in CNMPs. CNMPs are a conservation system for animal feeding operations designed to address soil erosion and water quality concerns. The CNMP encompasses the storage and handling of manure as well as using and applying manure nutrients on farm land. Through DAP, the state awarded dozens of projects already for farms with an average herd of about 140 cows.

Published in the March 2014 Edition of American Recycler News