Green Mountain Dairy

At Green Mountain Dairy, the Rowell brothers use DVO's digester to turn manure & ice cream waste into power, generating 2M kilowatts annually, serving 4k homes, & making farming greener in Vermont.

Project Details

  • Owners: Brothers Brian and Bill Rowell
  • Location: Shelton, Vermont
  • Date Built: 2007
  • Labor Used: [unknown]
  • Construction Type: [unknown]
  • Years in Service: 16
  • Energy Type: Biogas, electricity
  • Energy Output Average: 2MW
  • Input Waste: 950 milking, 150 dry, 600 heifers and 100 calves, plus 500,000 gallons of ice cream waste per year from Ben & Jerry’s
  • Output Byproducts: [unknown]


Sustainability runs in the family at Green Mountain Dairy. Established in 1999, the farm is owned and operated by brothers Brian and Bill Rowell. It is a progressive Vermont dairy farm,  turning manure into power through DVO’s anaerobic digester.


Before any digester

  • Conventional electricity is purchased from the utility at market rates.
  • Farm used open-air ponds for waste settling. Methane gas from wastes contributes to greenhouse gases at rates 21 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
  • Pathogens such as e-coli and salmonella can be concerns from the use of raw, unprocessed farm wastes.
  • Nuisance odor issues can result from manure storage
    and application.

After a DVO digester

  • Renewable electricity is self-generated and sold back to the utility.
  • Methane is consumed by the digester, reducing greenhouse gas emissions from farm wastes by 94%.
  • Pathogens in the digested waste are greatly reduced, often to the point of non-detection.
  • Up to 97% odor reduction is achieved, as odor is burned away in the biogas engines.


Project at a Glance

  • Majority of the waste put into the digesters is comprised of food and commercial processing waste from the surrounding region.
  • Bio Town Ag is the largest U.S. agricultural biogas-to-energy project.
  • Combined, the three digesters at Bio Town Ag total to 222 feet wide by
    300 feet long and can hold 7 million gallons of waste.


  • Bio Town Ag is an operation of 4,500-head beef cattle and 800-head
    sow and swine.
  • Electricity produced is enough to power more than 4,000 homes.
  • The digesters reduce 43,800 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from
    coal fired power plants and save 127,750 tons of material from going
    to landfills.
  • The micronutrient-rich fertilizer saves 7,250 tons of phosphorus,
    nitrogen and potassium mined for artificial fertilizer.
  • Digesters can produce enough biogas to power more than five 1.05
    MW units.


Digester system distributes 2 million kilowatts to the grid


Animals generate roughly 50,000 gallons of manure per day

20,000 Lbs.

Dairy produces over 20 million pounds of milk per year

500,000 gallons

Digester receives 500,000 gallons of ice cream waste per year from Ben & Jerry’s

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