Vermont Gas launches bio-methane pilot program

Vermont Gas Systems Inc., is distributing bio-methane to the equivalent of 350 residential homes in Franklin and Chittenden counties. The renewable gas is being used to supplement the natural gas the company distributes to customers in northern Vermont.

The bio-methane, which is derived from the decomposition of manure and organic materials in landfills, comes from Quebec.

Don Gilbert, president and CEO of Vermont Gas, which is a subsidiary of Montreal-based Gaz Metro, said the company plans to expand the use of bio-methane in order to help reduce the state’s carbon footprint and reliance on fossil fuels. Under the state’s comprehensive energy plan, 90 percent of the state’s energy must come from renewable energy sources by 2050.

“Renewable natural gas has tremendous advantages,” Gilbert said in a statement. “It produces a heating fuel that reduces lifecycle emissions by more than 90 percent compared to other sources, reduces phosphorous runoff into waterways like Lake Champlain and can contribute to Vermont’s renewable energy goals. Vermont Gas is pleased to make this first foray toward bringing renewable natural gas into its system.”

Vermont Gas is also supporting a renewable natural gas production facility in Vermont that will help farmers turn waste products into a cash crop and produce compost and animal bedding as byproducts.

Anne Galloway

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