Vanguard Renewables Anaerobic Digester


  • Vanguard Renewables Anaerobic Digester

Vanguard Renewables Anaerobic Digester

Jordan Dairy Farms, Rutland, Massachusetts 

Vanguard Renewables owns the digester on the Jordan Dairy farm in Rutland, MA.  AGreen financed and constructed the first farm based anaerobic digester in Massachusetts which opened in 2011. From its beginnings in 2007, the farm participants were motivated by a desire to reduce the odor of their manure through anaerobic stabilization as well as the potential to stabilize their farm’s power and heat requirements by recovering biogas from the stabilization process to power a Combined Heat and Power unit (CHP unit).  Since then, the project has grown to include the digestion of food processing byproducts, and other “source separated” food scraps and residues in liquid form, in order to improve the energy output of the digestion facility and provide an outlet for socially conscious food residual producers looking for recycling opportunities for their material.

The anaerobic digester accepts dairy manure from the adjacent farm buildings as well as food residuals delivered in closed containers and loaded into the digester without exposure to air.  These materials are stabilized by naturally occurring micro-organisms which thrive in an anaerobic, or oxygen free, environment.  This anaerobic requirement means that the whole process is tightly contained and monitored. Casella Organics is responsible for the sourcing of the majority of the food residuals recycled by the digester, including  the task of ‘recipe management’ at the facility.  The right recipe yields the maximum amount of energy and a valuable fertilizer.

Check out the WBUR "All Things Considered" feature from August of 2013.