***CONFERENCE CALL TODAY– PLEASE RSVP ASAP***
FOR PLANNING PURPOSES: CONTACT: Meredith Kelly
September 12, 2012 202.224.7433
SCHUMER: KEY ENERGY INCENTIVE WOULD ALLOW NY FARMERS TO ACCOMODATE MANY THOUSANDS OF NEW COWS & MEET GROWING GREEK YOGURT DEMAND – WOULD HELP NY DAIRIES GROW HERDS & INCREASE MILK PRODUCTION
Schumer to Announce Effort to Revive Energy Grant Program That Has Allowed Construction of Five Biodigester Facilities Across Upstate New York – Biodigester Facilities Will Allow Dairies to Accommodate Growing Herds Under New CAFO Regulations
To Capitalize on the Explosive Growth of NY Greek Yogurt Industry, NY Dairies Need to Build Many New Biodigesters to Handle Waste & Create Renewable Energy for Farms – 1603 Grant Program Provides Cash for Farmers to Cover Upfront Construction Costs
Schumer: Expanding Biodigesters Means More Clean Energy and More Dairy Production to Meet Growing Yogurt Demand
Today, Wednesday September 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm during a conference call, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer will launch his plan to allow Upstate New York dairy farmers to accommodate the larger herds that are needed to fully capitalize on the New York Greek yogurt boom. Specifically, Schumer will fight for the revival of the federal 1603 grant program, that provides the upfront cash that is critical for dairy farms to construct biodigesters, which convert organic waste into a nutrient rich fertilizer and biogas, a renewable source of electrical and heat energy. Under the new CAFO regulations for New York announced in August, approximately 4,455 dairy farms with less than 200 cows can increase their herds by at least 100 cows to better meet the demand for milk fueled by Greek yogurt demand, according to 2010 data from Cornell University. As both yogurt production and dairy farms expand, the number of biodigester facilities equipped to process their food and animal waste and protect the environment must also increase.
In addition to manure, digesters can also turn whey, a byproduct of yogurt production, into new renewable energy providing the state’s growing yogurt producers with a direct way to benefit from what they now simply send to disposal. Schumer highlighted that the Section 1603 “Payments for Specified Renewable Energy Property in Lieu of Tax Credits” program provides cash rather than a tax credit, and has been a proven incentive in the past for dairies to overcome large initial costs to build these facilities. For example, Synergy Biogas in Wyoming County utilized the 1603 program to receive a $2,372,406 grant, which allowed the farm to build its co-digestion biogas facility, which converts animal waste from the farm’s herd and food waste from local food processors into energy that reduces the cost of the dairy’s operation. At least three biodigester projects, under Ch4 Biogas ownership alone, are said to be under active consideration and would be put within reach with Section 1603.
On the call, Schumer will be joined by Lauren Toretta, Vice President of CH4 Biogas and John Noble, President and CEO of Synergy Dairy. Schumer will also provide a county-by-county breakdown of the number of dairy farms that stand to grow thanks to new CAFO regulations, and the number of cows, at minimum, that those counties could add.
DATE: Today, Wednesday, September 12th
TIME: 12:30 PM