Full Title: Agricultural Biogas in the United States
Author(s): Julia Bramley et all
Publisher(s): Tufts University
Publication Date: 3/2011
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This project takes an in depth look at the development process for agriculturally- based anaerobic digestion facilities nationally and in four states in order to determine barriers to market entry for farms that could harness this technology to produce energy. The bulk of this report focuses on the regulatory process, financial incentives, and other market factors at work federally, and in Vermont, California, New York, and Massachusetts to determine the typical development journey for agricultural anaerobic digestion in these states. Substantial research into the permitting and utility interconnection process was done to determine the required permits and necessary procedures in these states for these facilities to comply with federal, state, and local regulations. Research was also conducted into the financial incentives available in these states and federal to encourage development of these projects. Key stakeholders were then interviewed to determine how this theoretical process is translated into everyday practice. The results of this combined research effort show that Vermont is currently the model state of agriculturally-based anaerobic digestion development. Recommendations are provided to assist other states to develop a similar system, as well as to improve upon Vermont’s model. The findings of this project should be relevant to Meister Consultants Group as they try to assist clients to develop these facilities, but also for any other person involved in the development of an agricultural biogas facility who needs guidance on navigating the process.