Stimulus funds, biogas plan could bring in dollars

Posted on May 4, 2009. Filed under: Biomass |


From an article by David Baulch in the Daily Citizen (Beaver Dam, WI):

A project already deemed too good to be true by some city officials may be getting even better.

A $16.9 million plan to upgrade the city of Beaver Dam’s wastewater utility plant is eligible for stimulus funding of up to 50 percent, which would allow the city to keep its utility rate, already the fifth lowest in the state, stable. . . .

Kraft, meanwhile, has been looking for alternate uses for its whey, a byproduct of cheese production. Since 1984, the company has been trucking the waste out to be spread on land. But New York has already banned land spreading of whey and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is becoming more restrictive of land application.

So city utilities director Don Quarford and Kraft got together to see if a mutually beneficial solution could be worked out. They believe they have one.

The city would build a high strength pre-treatment system as part of its upgrade. This system would take in Kraft’s whey and other wastewater and pre-treat it before it enters the main wastewater system.

This would eliminate approximately 90 percent of Kraft’s wasteloads entering the system, reducing the necessary size of the upgrade.

But the benefits wouldn’t stop there.

The pre-treatment plant would be capable of converting whey into biogas, which in turn could be used to fuel a pair of engine generators. These generators would create enough electricity to run the entire plant, and more. This alone would save the city approximately $250,000 a year.

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    A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Wisconsin.

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