Larsen Applauds Federal Funding for Skagit County Anaerobic Digester
For Immediate Release
Contact: Amanda Mahnke
Larsen Praises Investment in Farm Power, Skagit Agriculture, Energy Independence
August 28, 2008
Washington, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representative Rick Larsen (WA-02) applauded the announcement by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of a $500,000 federal grant and a $575,000 loan to help Skagit County’s Farm Power Rexville, LLC launch a community anaerobic digester facility. Larsen had urged the USDA to approve federal funding for the project.
“This USDA Rural Development grant for Farm Power is an investment in Skagit County agriculture, Washington state innovation and American energy independence,” said Larsen today.
Two Skagit dairies will provide manure from 1,500 cows to Farm Power’s anaerobic digester. The anaerobic digester will then produce biogas to fuel a high-efficiency piston engine, generating electricity for sale to Puget Sound Energy’s electrical grid.
Producing local power with an anaerobic digester will reduce natural gas imports for electricity production by roughly a quarter-million dollars per year, a small but important step toward energy independence. At the same time, capturing the methane emissions from the manure will reduce greenhouse-gas emissions as much as taking 1,500 cars off the road.
“The Farm Bill's Section 9006 program helps communities make long-term investments that improve both local energy and agricultural infrastructure,” said Kevin Maas of Farm Power. “The two farmers participating in our project will start saving $10,000 a month on cow bedding as soon as the digester goes online, while the generator will produce enough power to supply 500 homes with electricity.”
“The families on both of our partner dairy farms are transitioning to the next generation,” Maas continued. “They are committed to producing milk here in Skagit County for many years, and we want to work alongside them. The USDA grant and loan guarantees helps Farm Power make that investment happen.”
In a letter dated June 16, 2008, Larsen wrote the USDA, urging them to consider Farm Power’s request for federal funding. “Farm Power’s digester project will allow agriculture to play a vital role in meeting Washington state and Skagit County objectives for renewable energy and environment protection projects while helping our farmers and dairy producers to modernize their property and practices,” wrote Larsen.
“Farm Power is a sound investment that will benefit the agricultural community in Skagit Valley, providing jobs and sustainability for agriculture in Washington,” Larsen continued.