Farms, food processing manufacturers and municipal wastewater facilities eligible for up to $2 million per project.
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced nearly $21 million will be available to create new economic opportunities for New York’s dairy farmers by helping them to produce renewable energy and improve their business operations.
The funding will help dairy farmers convert farm waste to energy and develop individualized business and environmental plans to reduce operating costs and increase profitability.
“The state is committed to creating new economic opportunities for our dairy farmers, who have helped make New York the Yogurt Capital of the nation,” Governor Cuomo said in his announcement. “With this funding, we are providing significant financial assistance to farmers so they can cut their energy costs, increase efficiencies in their operations, and develop plans to expand their businesses and contribute to cleaner communities.”
John B. Rhodes, president and CEO, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), said, “The anaerobic digester funding coupled with the Dairy Acceleration Program funding is another step the state is taking, under Governor Cuomo, to assist farmers in reducing their operating costs and in generating clean energy. Farmers that utilize anaerobic digester technology are able to produce renewable energy and lower their costs while providing a number of environmental benefits to their local communities.”
Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens said, “Governor Cuomo’s continued support has achieved environmentally responsible growth in the dairy industry throughout the state. This collaboration with our partners, including Cornell University, provides farms with the technical expertise they need to help protect New York’s natural resources and open spaces.”
Starting on Jan. 17, $20 million is available through NYSERDA to install anaerobic digester technology that produces renewable biogas used to produce electricity and heat from organic wastes. Farms, food processing manufacturers or municipal wastewater sites would be eligible for up to $2 million per project.
Through the anaerobic digestion process, farmers can often eliminate a significant portion of the electricity they would otherwise purchase from the utility grid, and periodically export surplus electricity onto the electrical grid in exchange for credits. Furthermore, farmers can realize operational savings in other areas as well.
Over the past 10 years, NYSERDA and the New York Power Authority have awarded nearly $30 million toward anaerobic digestion projects and related technology, resulting in significant energy savings to New York-based businesses while reducing the use of fossil fuel. Currently, this funding supports 20 operational digester projects. The digester technology funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for eligible projects.
Funding for the Dairy Acceleration Program (DAP) will be increased by $850,000, which is in addition to the $1 million announced by the Governor this past August. DAP is jointly funded by the Department of Agriculture and Markets and DEC.