|NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan and U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), at the Fremont Community Digester in Fremont, Michigan. Photo credit: Ashley Folkema.|
Supporters and government officials celebrated the startup of the $22 million Fremont Community Digester (FCD) plant, in Freemont, Mich., on Oct. 10. FCD produces electric power by processing organic waste.
“Fremont Community Digester is a great example of how innovative Michigan businesses and West Michigan agriculture are partnering to develop new clean energy, which will create new jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil,” said U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.), Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee during the ceremony.
Sen. Stabenow was joined by Fremont Mayor James Ryneberg, Michigan State Rep. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo), Michigan State Sen. Goeff Hansen (R-Hart), U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director James Turner, North Central Cooperative Senior Manager Rob Zeldenrust, INDUS Energy representative Arvin Shah and NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan, in cutting a ceremonial ribbon to celebrate the startup of the renewable biomass-fueled power plant.
NOVI Energy developed and is managing the FCD facility, which will convert 100,000 tons per year of food processing organic wastes into 3 megawatts of renewable electricity for sale to Consumers Energy under a long term contract approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The FCD is nearing completion of construction and is scheduled to enter commercial operation by the fourth quarter of 2012. Debt financing of the $22 million project, from Comerica Bank, was supported by a $12.8 million USDA Biorefinery 9003 loan guarantee.
“Fremont is the first step in what we expect will be a series of anaerobic digesters to be developed in the United States and elsewhere in the world, producing renewable, sustainable electricity from organic waste to improve our environment and diversify our renewable electricity supply,” said Anand Gangadharan, President of NOVI Energy, the developer and manager of the Fremont project.
FCD is the first large-scale anaerobic digester in the United States that will take organic waste from multiple waste streams, including food processing wastes as well as agricultural wastes, according to NOVI. It digests these wastes in enclosed tanks to produce biogas, which will fuel two reciprocating engine-generators to produce base load renewable electricity.