Green Guide

Fremont biodigester reopens after shutting down 2 years ago

Posted September 14

— A Michigan biodigester that turns food scraps into green energy has reopened after shutting down two years ago over financial problems.

The new owner, Generate Capital Inc., wants the revamped Fremont Regional Digester to start running at capacity later this fall. The digester is expected to turn 165,000 tons of organic waste a year into enough green energy to power at least 2,500 homes.

The original $22 million plant opened by Novi Energy in 2012 produced energy to power about 1,500 homes annually. That plant closed in 2015 in a dispute over ownership.

Generate Capital is working with Dynamic Systems Management to run the plant.

"We are working with nearby food processors and agribusinesses to help divert thousands of tons of waste from landfills," said Daniel Meccariello, chief operating officer of Dynamic Systems. "We will be able to accept and process just about any type of organic material and turn it into an immediately usable, environmentally-friendly form of energy for local families."

Dynamic Systems said it upgraded the plant with "state-of-the-art controls" that will minimize odors.

In digester tanks, microorganisms convert ground-up organic waste into biogas, which is used to generate power. Leftover solids are used as organic fertilizer for local farms.

"The digester not only benefits our local economy by supporting food and agricultural producers in west Michigan by recycling food waste to produce electricity, but will also create a lasting impact on the Fremont community and our natural environment," said Todd Blake, city manager for Fremont.

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