Killington gives Cow Power a liftBy Christian Avard
Staff Writer | November 25,2012KILLINGTON — Killington Ski Resort prides itself for opening first every ski and snowboard season. Now they are priding themselves for being the first Vermont ski resort to run on Cow Power.
The K1 Express gondola was busy transporting skiers and riders to Killington Peak on Saturday. Just below the loading platform was Marie Audet, a Holstein cow named “Bella,” and four newborns from Audet’s Blue Spruce Farm of Bridport.
Blue Spruce Farm is one of 13 farms around the state generating electricity for the K1 gondola for the entire ski and snowboard season. The Cow Power went online Nov. 5 and Audet believes there is potential for greater usage that can help sustain family farms.
“We’ve known there’s value in manure. We asked ourselves, ‘What is the best way to utilize it? Cow Power is good for the environment and a win-win for everyone,” Audet said.
It takes 300,000 kilowatts per year to operate the K1 gondola, according to David Dunn, Green Mountain Power manager of renewable projects. Dunn has been working with the Powdr Corporation, Killington’s parent company, for years to reduce the ski area’s carbon footprint.
Cow Power is produced when microbes in cow manure break down organic material and create a by-product called bio-gas. Bio-gas contains methane, which has energy value. It can be stored in a concrete tank, pond or silo at a regulated temperature.
Bio-gas goes to an engine that spins a generator, and the generator produces electricity that goes out to the grid. Killington pays a premium for the energy, and it receives carbon credits.
Killington is paying an extra four cents per kilowatt hour, Dunn said. Green Mountain Power takes the extra four cents to pay farmers for the energy that’s produced.
“It’s an investment. There’s some extra money being spent, but it diversifies dairy farms and gives farmers, like Blue Spruce Farms, another source of income. All of the money stays in Vermont,” Dunn said.
Demand for Cow Power is growing for commercial and residential use in Vermont, Dunn said. Long Trail Brewery in Bridgewater, Green Mountain College in Poultney, and Killington Mountain School are all running on Cow Power. The energy source is generating a buzz, as well.
Allison Gillette of Ludlow is producing a documentary called “Cow Power: The Film” to raise awareness. The documentary will be released in January.
Sarah Thorson, Killington Ski Resort marketing coordinator, said the new base lodge scheduled to open in 2013 will also run on Cow Power. There are no plans for expanding Cow Power usage, but Thorson said there’s always a possibility.
“It’s one step at a time,” Thorson said. “(Killington) is constantly looking for new ways to reduce our carbon footprint. GMP cow power is the perfect combination because we are working with local farms and giving skiers and riders a great experience.”
To learn more about Killington’s Cow Power initiative visit www.killington/gogreen.
firstname.lastname@example.orgMORE IN Local & StateThe Rutland Town Select Board plans to appoint a new member next week who will serve until a... Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day 1739, 'Richard Palmer' identified in prison at York Castle as the notorious outlaw DICK TURPIN; IN 1836, Battle of the Alamo begins near San Antonio de Bexar, Texas; 1896, the Tootsie Roll invented by LEO HIRSCHFELD.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1472, Orkney, Shetland islands put up as collateral by Norway to Scotland in lieu of dowry for MARGARET OF DENMARK on her marriage with JAMES III, king of Scotland; 1962, JOHN GLENN first American to orbit Earth.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: City mayoral candidates debate campaign issues; Hartford, Conn., woman still missing; Neal Goswami reports attempts to legislate suicide; local woman loses 100 pounds through TOPS program.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1878, JOHN TUNSTALL murdered near Lincoln, New Mexico, by the outlaw JESSE EVANS; in 1930, ELM FARM OLLIE first cow to fly in aircraft, first to be milked airborne; 1955, nuke test WASP; '79, snow in Sahara.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: Rutland Herald News Editor Alan J. Keays and staff writer Gordon Dritschilo discuss stories planned for the February 18, 2015, edition of the newspaper: Winter budgets maxed, legal marijuana, Springfield bank job, USPS slowdown
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: On this day in 1249 AD, ANDRE of LONGJUMEAU is dispatched by LOUIS IX of France to meet the KHAGAN, ruler of the Mongol Empire; in 1804, during 1st Barbary War, STEPHEN DECATUR scuttles the pirate-held USS Philadelphia in Tripoli.