Vermont Biofuels Initiative: Local Production for Local Use to Supply a Portion of Vermont’s Energy Needs

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The Vermont Biofuels initiative (VBI) is the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund’s (VSJF) biomass-to-biofuels market development program. Vermont is a small state with a large petroleum dependency for transportation (18th in per capita petroleum consumption) and home heating (55% of all households use petroleum for heating). The VBI marks the first strategic effort to reduce Vermont’s dependency on petroleum through the development of homegrown alternatives. As such, it supports the four key priorities of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Multi-year Biomass Plan: 1.) Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; 2.) Promote the use of diverse, domestic and sustainable energy resources; 3.) ... continued below

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Sawyer, Scott & Kahler, Ellen May 31, 2009.

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The Vermont Biofuels initiative (VBI) is the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund’s (VSJF) biomass-to-biofuels market development program. Vermont is a small state with a large petroleum dependency for transportation (18th in per capita petroleum consumption) and home heating (55% of all households use petroleum for heating). The VBI marks the first strategic effort to reduce Vermont’s dependency on petroleum through the development of homegrown alternatives. As such, it supports the four key priorities of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Multi-year Biomass Plan: 1.) Dramatically reduce dependence on foreign oil; 2.) Promote the use of diverse, domestic and sustainable energy resources; 3.) Reduce carbon emissions from energy production and consumption; 4.) Establish a domestic bioindustry. In 2005 VSJF was awarded with a $496,000 Congressionally directed award from U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy. This award was administered through the U.S. Department of Energy (DE-FG36- 05GO85017, hereafter referred to as DOE FY05) with $396,000 to be used by VSJF for biodiesel development and $100,000 to be used by the Vermont Department of Public Service for methane biodigester projects. The intent and strategic focus of the VBI is similar to another DOE funded organization– the Biofuels Center of North Carolina–in that it is a nonprofit driven, statewide biofuels market development effort. DOE FY05 funds were expensed from 2006 through 2008 for seven projects: 1) a feedstock production, logistics, and biomass conversion research project conducted by the University of Vermont Extension; 2) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of State Line Biofuels existing biodiesel production facility; 3) technical assistance in the form of a safety review and engineering study of Borderview Farm’s proposed biodiesel production facility; 4) technology and infrastructure purchases for capacity expansion at Green Technologies, LLC, a waste vegetable biodiesel producer; 5) technical assistance in the form of feasibility studies for AgNorth Biopower LLC’s proposed multi-feedstock biodigester; 6) technology and infrastructure purchases for the construction of a “Cow Power” biodigester at Gervais Family Farm; and 7) the education and outreach activities of the Vermont Biofuels Association. DOE FY05 funded research, technical assistance, and education and outreach activities have helped to provide Vermont farmers and entrepreneurs with important feedstock production, feedstock logistics, and biomass conversion information that did not exist prior as we work to develop an instate biodiesel sector. The efficacy of producing oilseed crops in New England is now established: Oilseed crops can grow well in Vermont, and good yields are achievable given improved harvesting equipment and techniques. DOE FY05 funds used for technology and infrastructure development have expanded Vermont’s pool of renewable electricity and liquid fuel generation. It is now clear that on-farm energy production provides an opportunity for Vermont farmers and entrepreneurs to reduce on-farm expenditures of feed and fuel while providing for their energy security. Meanwhile they are developing new value-added revenue sources (e.g., locally produced livestock meal), retaining more dollars in the local economy, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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  • Report No.: Final Project Report
  • Grant Number: FG36-05GO85017
  • DOI: 10.2172/953749 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 953749
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc932202

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  • May 31, 2009

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  • Nov. 13, 2016, 7:26 p.m.

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Sawyer, Scott & Kahler, Ellen. Vermont Biofuels Initiative: Local Production for Local Use to Supply a Portion of Vermont’s Energy Needs, report, May 31, 2009; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc932202/: accessed June 24, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.