Cow manure could power 900 homes in Deerfield

The digester in Deerfield will begin operating by Thanksgiving

DEERFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – After trying for more than 7 years, Barway Farm is finally installing a system to turn 25 tons of manure from 500 cows into energy.

It’s a 4-million methane digester being built. Each day, the digester will mix 25 tons of manure with 45 tons of food waste that comes from supermarkets, restaurants, and manufacturers.

The mixture is processed, and the methane collected is used to produce energy. The goal is to find eco-friendly ways to produce heat and electricity.

The tank that makes all of this happen is shaped like a racetrack. Its 100 feet long by 50 feet wide.

The digester is expected to begin operating by Thanksgiving. Steve Melnick, a partner of the farm, told 22News that the methane produced would be able to power about 900 homes in the town.

This is the 4th digester in Massachusetts. There are 16 farms in Vermont that do this, and one business that benefits is Killington Ski Resorts; they power their gondolas with this energy method.

Dorothy Schnure, Spokesperson for Green Mountain Power in Killington, Vermont, says the digesters in the process help reduce the smell.

It’s also used for dry bedding for cows, which is a cheaper alternative to hay.

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