Group seeks to re-open renewable energy site

Posted on October 21, 2009. Filed under: Biomass, Digesters |


From a news release issued by DF-1:

Yorkville, Wis. – When Maple Leaf Farms, a large duck producer, closed the doors on its Yorkville Plant in 2008, the region lost more than jobs. A unique, first-of- its-kind waste treatment facility, which We Energies celebrated as Wisconsin’s first duck manure-to energy methane digester in 2002, was also shut down, apparently destined for decommissioning and demolition.

Now, a group of local businessmen and renewable energy advocates called DF-1 Associates want to bring new life to this shuttered facility by converting it to a renewable energy site – a site that could generate enough electricity to power up to 800 Wisconsin homes.

“The food processing industry is an essential part of Wisconsin’s industrial base and is vital to the state’s economy,” said Penny McDonough, spokesperson for DF-1 Associates. “Our group’s goal is to give Wisconsin food processors and agricultural industries an environmentally friendly way of dealing with the by-products they generate by turning these organic materials into renewable energy rather than sending them to area landfills. SEH, Inc., a regional engineering firm taking the lead in renewable energy services has joined the project as well. The initial feasibility study to reopen this site and convert it to use organic food byproducts was made possible by a grant from Focus on Energy making this project a part of Focus on Energy’s commitment to making Wisconsin less dependent on fossil fuels and more on renewable sources of energy.

DF-1 Associates is proposing to open a renewable energy facility that brings in organic food processing by-products and send this material through an anaerobic digester, which is an oxygen-free system containing naturally-occurring bacteria that break down the organic material. This process produces a biogas that is approximately 55-70% methane. The contained methane is then used to power an engine-generator and produce electricity, which is sold back to the local utility company. Leftover biosolids from this process are used for bedding for livestock and the leftover liquid is further treated to Wisconsin DNR standards allowing discharge for replenishment of the local aquifer.

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

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