GEORGIA – When energy engineer David Blittersdorf announced he was going into natural gas, no one thought he was talking about methane. But now, with his wind turbines up and running on Georgia Mountain, he has turned his focus to a new project that would collect methane from cows to use as a renewable energy source.
Blittersdorf plans to erect domes over several dairy barns, using new technology to pump out the methane created by the animals and convert it into clean electricity. Two farms have already signed up to be test cases, and Blittersdorf is hoping to eventually have a dome over every barn in Vermont.
“When you think about it, it’s really just another form of wind power,” he said with a hint of a smile. “Vermont has famously had more cows than people from time to time, and with milk prices so low, I think this is going to be a win-win for farmers. They’re going to offset their costs by selling power, and the state is going to get cleaner, cheaper energy. Plus the domes look super cool, very futuristic.”
Whether Vermont can shed its image of a non-futuristic-fifties-utopia remains to be seen, but Blittersdorf is confident that the domes will attract new residents, hoping to live in a land that is both rural and technologically ahead of its time.
“Think of Wakanda,” he says, “but with more cows. Like a sort of…Wacownda!”