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Twin Birch dairy farm honored by state groups, officials for new biogas technology

At the Aug. 21 event celebrating Twin Birch dairy farm's new biogas generator technology, Amyar Zadeh, president and CEO of American Biogas, far right, presented plaques to, from left, Cayuga County SWCD Director Ray Lockwood, Twin Birch owner Dirk Young and NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr., for being "Champions of Change."

At the Aug. 21 event celebrating Twin Birch dairy farm's new biogas generator technology, Amyar Zadeh, president and CEO of American Biogas, far right, presented plaques to, from left, Cayuga County SWCD Director Ray Lockwood, Twin Birch owner Dirk Young and NYSERDA President and CEO Francis J. Murray Jr., for being "Champions of Change." Photo by Jason Emerson.

— The new biogas system typically costs more than $1 million to create, but Twin Birch spent between $500,000 and $750,000 because many of the components were already in place and thanks to the help of two grants from NYSERDA.

“We would not be here today without the help of NYSERDA, both financially and technically,” said Amyar Zadeh, president and CEO of American Biogas. “Our goal is to improve the environment.”

Zadeh also presented award plaques from American Biogas to Twin Birch owner Dirk Young, as well as to representatives from NYSERDA and the Cayuga County Soil and Water Conservation District as “champions of change” for their role in installing this new technology. The Cayuga County SWCD has its own biogas generator currently being finalized for regional use.

Young, whose farm Zedah said was probably one of the “foremost” pioneers in renewable energy in the region, said Twin Birch learned many lessons while installing and utilizing the biogas system, and called it “a step forward to cut costs and use renewable energy.”

Murray said there are similar biogas generators at two other sites in New York state built to showcase the value of the technology, and the Environmental Protection Agency estimates there are about 8,000 potential farm candidates for biogas technology across the U.S.

Representatives from the offices of U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Rep. Ann Marie Buerkle also were on hand to participate in the event and give their kudos to Twin Birch for its biogas project.

Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at editor@skaneatelespress.com.

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