Handy Toyota: a Green Auto Dealer in VT
America's First Cow Powered® Car Dealer
Believe it our not, Handy Toyota of St. Albans, VT, your local new Toyota, used car dealer and Toyota service and car parts center, is the first car dealership in the entire United States in one very important arena. We are America's first cow-powered car dealer; we are a green dealership.
But what does it mean to be a "green dealership?" In short, we get 100 percent of our electricity from the methane derived in cow manure, a process called Cow Power® from Green Mountain Power.
What is Cow Power®?
Green Mountain Power's (formerly known as CVPS) Cow Power® is a method that greatly improves upon the old ideology of manure equaling waste. Before Cow Power® was established, there were several environmental issues stemming from the collection and disposal of said manure that caused not only grief for the local Vermont farming community but a great deal of waste in other areas.
The Cow Power® method is really quite
simple straightforward - once the components and processes are all set up of course. The cows create waste naturally, and the waste is sent to an anaerobic digester where it's heated to a point at which the methane gas separates from the rest of the waste. That methane is sent through a pipeline where it spins a turbine specially designed for the purpose of becoming energy, and the energy created from these spinning turbines is extracted thusly. The excess "waste" is then used for the cows' bedding on the manufacturers farm or another, and it can also be used as weed killer. This is truly sustainable energy, as seemingly every part of the process yields a useful result.
As you may have seen on the Handy Toyota awards page, our dealership was honored at the Cow Power Awards for 2009 hosted by Middlebury's Farmer's Insurance Cooperative Building in Middlebury, VT. Not only did we get an award, we were enlightened on some of the finer points of the Cow Power® program. Here are a few important issues that make this an obvious choice for our store's electricity source:
- Before implementing the Cow Power® program's anaerobic digester and power lines, one farm, Blue Spruce Farms, used over 1,200 gallons of diesel fuel a week exclusively for trucking cow waste to a nearby lagoon. After starting with Cow Power® their fuel consumption dropped to 240 gallons per week.
- An average truck load of sawdust, formerly one of the cheapest and most widely used sources for cow bedding, costs over $2,450. Blue Spruce Farms, being one of Vermont's largest family owned farms, went through a load of sawdust a week before the Cow Power® program. As mentioned above, after the anaerobic digester burns the methane out of the manure, the remnants can be used as bedding, thereby eliminating this cost. As an added benefit, Blue Spruce Farms makes enough of electricity and manure-derived bedding that they can sell the extra, offsetting other projects and upkeep costs.
- Not only was the diesel fuel needed to move the manure to a lagoon incredibly expensive, it also releases methane naturally just as it does in the anaerobic digester. The problem? Methane is a greenhouse gas. When the Cow Power® program got moving at Blue Spruce Farms, the lagoon was no longer necessary and that former greenhouse gas became money-making electricity.
The bottom line folks is that Vermont is our home, and it's a great place to live, raise a family, work, and play. We at Handy Toyota of St. Albans, Vermont will do anything within our means to keep it that way and hopefully make it a better place. That's why in 2007, the first year Cow Power® was introduced, Handy Toyota donated $60 from every Toyota Prius sale to CVPS' program.
Please feel free to read more about our participation in this proactive efficient energy movement by clicking the links below, or send us an email for more information.