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Vermont-based utility Green Mountain Power (GMP) says the state's Public Service Board has approved the service-territory-wide expansion of the GMP Cow Power Program, which allows customers to purchase electricity generated from cow manure.

According to the utility, Cow Power was first offered to certain customers in 2004 as a way to offer new, local renewable energy choices. Now, all of GMP's customers can opt in to the program.

To produce Cow Power, farmers feed cow manure into an on-site anaerobic digester. The resultant methane gas fuels an engine that drives an electric generator, and the energy generated is then fed into the GMP electrical system for distribution to customers. The Cow Power program currently includes 12 farms and generates 16 million kWh annually.

"We are so excited to be able to offer GMP Cow Power to 90,000 additional Green Mountain Power customers," says Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. "This program has so many benefits for farms, for the environment and for Vermont as a whole. The expansion of this program is one more way that we can increase renewable power in Vermont."


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