Fort Hill Farm
Fort Hill Ag-Grid was the first dairy farm digester project in Connecticut to produce electricity. The farm’s owners are committed to sustainability. They have long practiced conservation tillage, cover crops and recycling of manure as fertilizer. Co-generation of electricity from manure and food waste is the latest step. Electricity generated by the digester helps to power farm operations and while providing renewable energy to communities across Connecticut.
Ag-Grid Energy partnered with Fort Hill Farm to form the special-purpose company Fort Hill Ag-Grid LLC (FHAG), which owns and operates the anaerobic digester and combined heat and power (CHP) system.
This project was funded through partner equity, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service EQIP grant, USDA REAP grant, Connecticut Department of Agriculture Ag Transition Grant, Connecticut Green Bank loan, and SBA guaranteed Live Oak Bank loan.
Fort Hill Farm is owned by the Orr Family and operated by Kies Orr LaVack and Jared LaVack. Kies and Jared look after dairy and field operations, supported by a network of experienced advisors and suppliers.
- FOOD WASTE – The digester recycles 10,000 tons of food waste per year.
- MANURE – The digester recycles cow manure.
- ENERGY – The digester’s 550 kW engine generates 3.5 million kW hours of electricity per year.
About the Farm
Fort Hill Farm has 200 cows. It is in the process of building a new dairy barn that will have four robotic milking machines.
Impact on the Community and the Environment
The City of New Britain and City of Middletown are purchasing virtual net metering credits. Local food producers have a trusted disposal site for recycling waste.
The clean, renewable electricity from this project will support 615 electric vehicles on the road and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from those vehicles.
What Our Farm Partner Says
My father was all gung-ho about a digester. He and Rashi did a lot of the planning before he passed away in 2018. From there, myself, my husband Jared and my unclde Jim took the reins and ran with the project. It has been a little bumpy, but we got up and running in 2021 and we are doing well. We use our cow manure and food waste and we make electricity. That electricity gets sent to the grid. It’s a way to stay sustainable. I hope more digesters can get up and running throughout the U.S. We’re very excited for all this and we can’t wait to see what the future brings.
What the Ag-Grid Team Says
We are proud to have created the first dairy digester project in the State of Connecticut that produces electricity. This project was a vision of Peter Orr, who passed away before it was built. We brought his vision to fruition through collaboration with young dairy farmers Kies and Jared LaVack. They have shown tremendous strength and persistence in working through the pressures of being first in their state. Support from uncle Jim Orr, who bridged the team seamlessly, was essential to get the project off the ground. We salute the Fort Hill Farm family!