The Reading, Vt., resort is giving its skiers a lift up the mountain with electricity generated from a byproduct of 13 of the state’s iconic dairy farms. The “cow power” program consumes 300,000 gallons of manure per day.
Reuters reported that Killington Resort in Reading, Vt., will run its K-1 Express Gondola to the top of the Killington Mountain with the help of an unusual power source: cow manure.
The resort will use 300,000 kilowatt hours of electricity made from a byproduct of 13 of the state’s iconic dairy farms to operate the ski lift.
The manure-generated electricity is distributed through a renewable energy program at Green Mountain power, the state’s largest utility. The “cow power” plan, which was begun in 2004 by Central Vermont Public Service, generates five megawatts using manure from 10,000 of the state’s 270,000 cattle, Reuters reported.
Manure is collected from barn floors during the day and is mixed with wash water from milking equipment. Bacteria in an anaerobic digester then process the manure slurry into methane gas, which is burned to generate electricity. The program consumes 300,000 gallons of manure per day, Reuters reported.
“We’re always looking at ways to be environmentally efficient and we’re always looking forward to ways to help farmers,” said Sarah Thorson, a spokeswoman for the ski resort.
Vermont power customers including Long Trail Brewing Company, Middlebury College and Woodchuck Hard Cider pay a premium of $.04 per kilowatt hour to offset additional costs of the renewable energy program.
Killington is the first ski resort in Vermont to use manure power, Reuters reported.