Vermont Bioenergy Initiative

VSJF Vermont bioenergy fossil fuel oilseed

The Vermont Bioenergy Initiative concluded a 10+ year effort to foster the development of a small-scale bioenergy industry in Vermont as a replacement for fossil fuel based energy.

The purpose of the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative was to foster the development of sustainable, distributed, small-scale biodiesel, grass/mixed fiber, and algae-to-biofuels businesses in Vermont, in order to produce bioenergy for local transportation, agricultural, and thermal applications—as a replacement for fossil fuel based energy. This initiative marked the first strategic effort to reduce Vermont’s dependency on petroleum through the development of homegrown alternatives.

The Vermont Bioenergy Initiative provided grant funding and agronomic and financial planning assistance to farmers and entrepreneurs interested in developing homegrown bioenergy and supported the development of on-farm oilseed production, processing, and biodiesel production capacity for farm and local community use, as well as with researchers to develop the agronomics and economics of oilseed crop and biodiesel production in Vermont.

Farmers, entrepreneurs, and researchers interested in advancing the commercialization of grass for thermal energy received funding and engineering technical support to augment Vermont’s woody biomass supply with grass and mixed fiber pellets for thermal applications.

Producing algae for biofuel drew another set of researchers, and entrepreneurs who were financially supported by the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative to develop cold climate algae that could eventually be available for biodiesel production.

The initiative concluded in 2016 with the release of the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative Final Report to the U.S. Department of Energy which documents all of the research, technical assistance, and infrastructure development in emerging areas of bioenergy conducted as a part of the initiative from 2008-2016.

Get in Touch

Contact Chris Callahan
UVM Extension

Vermont Bioenergy Initiative
Vermont Bioenergy Initiative Final Report

Vermont Tech Anaerobic Digester

Also in 2016, the Vermont Sustainable Jobs Fund and Vermont Technical College published the Community Anaerobic Digester Report to demonstrate how a community scale biodigester can keep excess nutrients out of watersheds and food residuals out of landfills while generating renewable electricity. VSJF served as a project partner with Vermont Tech, home of the Vermont Tech anaerobic digester known as “Big Bertha.”

Both the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative and the Vermont Tech biodigester project connect to the acceleration of sustainable economic development in renewable energyenvironmental technology, and waste management sectors.


Vermont bioenergy research, technical assistance, and infrastructure development in emerging areas of bioenergy will continue with Vermont Bioenergy Initiative partners UVM Extension, the Vermont Agency of Agriculture, Food & MarketsVermont Technical CollegeVermont Energy Investment Corporation, and the Energy Action Network.

Learn more about the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative

Visit for all Vermont Bioenergy Initiative resources, including videos, technical assistance tools and information, educational materials, and reports that support biodiesel production and distribution for heating and transportation, oil crops for on-farm biodiesel and feed, grass for heating, and algae for biofuels and wastewater management.

Funding for the Vermont Bioenergy Initiative was provided by a U.S. Department of Energy congressional appropriation administered by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy, and the High Meadows Fund.

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