Ag-Grid Energy and UGI Energy Services commissioned the new renewable electricity facility at Hytone Farm with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on May 8, 2023. UGI Energy Services is a subsidiary of UGI Corporation, which owns a 33% equity interest in Ag-Grid Energy. Hytone Farm is the second Ag-Grid Energy anaerobic digester project in Connecticut. Significantly, it is our first sand friendly digester project. Sand from the cow bedding is removed from the cow manure before the manure goes into the digester.
Ag-Grid Energy partnered with Hytone Farm to create the special-purpose entity Hytone Ag-Grid to construct, own and operate an anaerobic digester and combined heat and power (CHP) system.
The project was funded through member equity, CT Department of Agriculture, a USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service EQIP grant, USDA REAP grant and Live Oak Bank lending guaranteed by USDA REAP.
Hytone Farm is owned by Gregory Peracchio and his father William Peracchio. The farm has been in operation for almost 80 years. It has 5 full-time and 3 part-time employees.
- FOOD WASTE – The digester recycles up to 15,000 gallons of food waste per day.
- MANURE – The digester recycles about 13,000 gallons of cow manure per day. Sand from the cow bedding is removed from the manure by a McClanahan Manure Sand Separation System. State-of-the-art digester technology provided by our development partner Martin Construction Resources enables us to clean the digester of accumulated sand every 3-5 years. The new concrete manure storage tank also can be cleared of sand if it accumulates.
- ENERGY – The digester’s 550 kW engine is expected to produce up to 4.4 million kW hours per year of clean, renewable energy.
About the Farm
Hytone has 330 milking cows, an additional 45 dry cows, and a separate heifer facility.
Impact on the Community and the Environment
The City of New Britain has purchased all of the virtual net metering credits from this project. This is the second Ag-Grid project that the city has supported. Local food producers have a trusted disposal site for recycling waste.
The renewable electricity from this project supports 615 electric vehicles on the road and reduces greenhouse gas emissions from those vehicles.
What Our Farm Partner Says
The best way to preserve open space is by keeping farms in business. If it is profitable to be in business, we will take care of the land so it doesn’t cost taxpayers money.
What the Ag-Grid Team Says
We recognize that 90% of U.S. dairy farms prefer sand bedding for their cows. We are proud to announce the beginning of digester operations at our first sand-based dairy. Hytone Ag-Grid has a McLanahan Sand Separation System that removes most of the sand from the manure. In addition, Hytone Ag-Grid has a state-of-the-art digester system that is sand friendly and enables us to clean accumulated sand from the digester every 3-5 years. Thanks to Greg Peracchio, owner of Hytone Farms, for being a pioneer partner in this journey.