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Stabenow, Local Officials Help Novi Energy Celebrate Digester Startup

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The groundbreaking earlier this year for the Fremont Community Digester. U.S. Department of Agriculture photo.

The groundbreaking earlier this year for the Fremont Community Digester. U.S. Department of Agriculture photo.

FREMONT — Federal, state, local and private sector officials Wednesday celebrated the launch of the $22 million Fremont Community Digester plant, which 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,” U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) said at the event. Stabenow chairs the Senate Agriculture Committee.

Stabenow was joined by Fremont Mayor James Ryneberg, State Rep. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo), State Senator 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 biorefinery loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“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,” Gangadharan said.

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.  It digests these wastes in enclosed tanks to produce biogas, which will fuel two reciprocating engine-generators to produce base load renewable electricity.

More about Novi energy at www.novienergy.com or call (248) 735-6684.

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