Vermont Tech begins work on biogas CHP plant

By Anna Simet | May 01, 2013

After seven years of planning, Vermont Technical College has broken ground on an anaerobic digestion project that will generate heat for the campus, and power that will be sold to the grid.

Permitting for the Central Vermont Recovered Biomass Facility, which will accept about one truck load per day of off-campus food waste, began in summer 2012. It is being built near the campus central heating plant, co-located with the farm fields on the main campus, which it will also take in waste from.

Bio-Methatech of Quebec, Canada, is designing and overseeing construction of the anaerobic digestion plant. It will utilize technology from Austria-based LIPP, which has installed in over 700 plants worldwide.

Electricity produced, enough to power about 2,200 homes, will be sold to Central Vermont Public Service.

Vermont Tech and the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund are partners in the planning and construction phase of the project, and have been integrally involved in it since 2007.

The project is expected to be complete in 2013.

Earlier in the year, Vermont Tech completed installation of a Frohling biomass pellet boiler system that now provides heat for the Red School House building at the Randolph Center campus. In just its first year of use, the pellet boiler reduced annual heating oil use by approximately 3,200 gallons with a savings of $4,200 to the College.