SOURCE: Central Vermont Public Service

Central Vermont Public Service

September 16, 2009 10:34 ET

CVPS Cow Power™ Named DOE 2009 Utility Green Power Program of the Year

ATLANTA, GA--(Marketwire - September 16, 2009) - CVPS Cow Power™ (NYSE: CV), the first manure-to-energy program in the country, was recognized earlier this week as the Department of Energy's (DOE's) 2009 Utility Green Power Program of the Year for advancing the development and use of green energy.

CVPS Cow Power™ was presented with DOE's Green Power Leadership Award for a supplier during the "Renewable Energy Markets 2009" Conference in Atlanta on Monday, Sept. 14, 2009.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Department of Energy (DOE) and the Center for Resource Solutions (CRS) sponsored the ninth annual Green Power Leadership Awards, which recognize the actions of individuals, companies and organizations that significantly advance the development of renewable electricity sources through green power markets. For the 2009 Green Power Leadership Awards, three separate panels of judges reviewed over 100 nominations. DOE honored five Green Power Partners from across the United States for their commitment and contribution to helping advance the nation's voluntary green power market.

"The Department of Energy applauds CVPS Cow Power™ for taking a leading role in advancing markets for renewable energy," said Secretary Steven Chu. "Green power is an effective way for businesses and households to reduce their carbon footprint, while creating jobs and cutting pollution. Through this innovative program, CVPS is responding to growing demand for clean, reliable electricity from our nation's abundant renewable energy sources."

CVPS won the Utility Green Power Program of the Year award for designing and implementing the voluntary renewable energy program, which competed against municipal, electric cooperatives and investor-owned utilities that offer voluntary renewable energy programs to their customers.

"CVPS Cow Power™ promotes a manure management system that provides clean, renewable energy and strives to help solve numerous environmental problems," the DOE said. "Since the program's inception in 2004, a total of over 42 million kWh have been sold through customers' enrollment. In 2008, sales increased by over 1.3 million kWh, over 10 percent."

"We are thrilled to receive this recognition, which honors all of our Cow Power farm owners, the thousands of customers who have enrolled in the program, and all those who have supported it, including our regulators and several state and federal agencies," CVPS President Bob Young said. "Cow Power is successful only through the collaboration of many partners."

Lt. Gov. Brian Dubie, who was an early supporter of CVPS Cow Power™ and nominated CVPS for the award, said it was a model for others to emulate. "The thinking that created Cow Power, turning a waste stream into an asset, is just the kind of thinking we need as we face growing energy and environmental challenges," Dubie said. "We hope to inspire other states and regions to follow our success with the Cow Power program."

Dave Dunn, who manages CVPS Cow Power™, and Steve Costello, who until recently managed enrollment and customer outreach for the program, accepted the award on CVPS's behalf. "When we started Cow Power, we simply wanted to offer customers a fully renewable choice and help Vermont dairy farmers improve manure management and their finances," Dunn said. "Thanks to their courage, we've been able to go far beyond that and help educate hundreds of thousands of people across Vermont and around the world about the possibilities."

"We owe a huge debt of gratitude to our Cow Power customers, who have made significant and sustained commitments to the program," Costello said. "Green Mountain College, Long Trail Brewing Company, Handy Toyota, JC Image and others make enormous financial contributions to Cow Power, and help market it. Every customer enrolled shares in this award."

The Cow Power process is simple: manure and other agricultural waste are held in a sealed concrete tank at the same temperature as a cow's stomach, 101 degrees. Bacteria digest the volatile components, creating methane and killing pathogens and weed seeds. The methane, which is roughly 20 times more harmful than carbon dioxide in trapping heat in the atmosphere, fuels an engine/generator. The process kills most manure odors, and provides a peat-moss-like material for bedding animals.

CVPS customers can choose to receive all, half or a quarter of their electrical energy through Cow Power, and pay a premium of 4 cents per kilowatt hour. It goes to participating farm-producers, to purchase renewable energy credits when enough farm energy isn't available, or to the CVPS Renewable Development Fund, which provides grants to develop on-farm generation.

CVPS Cow Power™ has been repeatedly honored since its creation in 2004. The program won the Vermont Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in 2005-2006 and the Finalist's Commendation in the 2007 Edison Electric Institute's annual Edison Award competition, named for Thomas Edison. In 2008, "Power Magazine" named CVPS Cow Power™ one of five "Top Plants" worldwide. For more information, visit www.cvps.com/cowpower.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Steve Costello
    (802) 747-5427
    Pager (802) 742-3062