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Energy Fund Offers Grant for Heat Recovery from Compost

Andrew Perchlik                                                       FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 15, 2018

Clean Energy Development Fund

(802) 828-4017


Montpelier, VT: The Clean Energy Fund’s Request for Proposals asks for projects that recovery heat from compost, and the Fund will pay up to 40% of the cost of the equipment that captures heat.  The maximum grant amount is $63,000.  The equipment must be farm-based and installed in Vermont.  Proposals are due on Friday, March 2nd.

According to Andrew Perchlik, director of the Clean Energy Fund, “These systems to recover heat have a good track record, with at least four systems installed in Vermont since 2012, and others in New England.  For the Fund, it’s just the right balance of innovation and a proven renewable energy technology.”  “It turns out this way of handling manure and/or food waste delivers compost more quickly, stabilizing the agronomic value and turning what might be considered waste into a premium product,” pointed out Alex DePillis, Senior Agricultural Development Coordinator with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets. 

Yes, “Compost Happens,” as the bumper sticker says.  Creating high-quality compost for sale, however, is a lot of work, both artful and scientific.  To avoid odors and allow the right microbes to thrive, the pile needs air, so it can reach temperatures of more than 140° F.  Compost makers typically turn the pile with machinery like front loaders or with more specialized pile turners.  By placing the pile on top of pipes that draw air through the pile or push it up through the pile, compost makers can skip most of that work and operating expense. 

About the Clean Energy Development Fund: The CEDF serves the citizens of Vermont by increasing local, small-scale renewable energy generation while maximizing associated economic development. The Fund coordinates with other state programs and private entities to integrate and advance renewable energy across all sectors of the State’s energy economy.


More about the grant:  Farms that make compost with farm wastes, manure, bulking agents (wood chips or similar sources of carbon), and up to 1,000 cubic yards per year of food processing residuals are regulated as farms rather than as composters.  Appendix C of the request for Proposals shows the regulatory thresholds.