Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced $499,124 in federal funding for Clarkson University to expand its clean energy work by developing anaerobic digesters for North County farms. The federal funding comes from the USDA’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) and allows Clarkson to join its Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI).
“Clarkson University is leading the way on clean energy innovation that can strengthen our farms and our economy,” Senator Gillibrand said. “With this strong federal investment, Clarkson can equip more local farms with technology to transform their own natural resources into power for their farming, all while cutting costs, protecting our environment, and growing our economy.”
“The project will allow us to demonstrate that anaerobic digestion is a mature and reliable technology that can benefit also small farms, which is critically important for our region.” said Clarkson Professor Stefan Grimberg.
Anaerobic digesters turn compost from livestock and vegetation into methane gas to create viable heat, power sources and fertilizer. This process reduces pollution, cuts costs and can diversify a farmers income. A USDA report found that anaerobic digesters can make significant contributions to America’s energy security and cut down on farm odors.
Clarkson University plans to use the grant to expand the program and educate small farmers on the process. The effort can also help make North Country farms more competitive with international farming counterparts in the fields of clean, renewable energy.