Saturday, March 5, 2011

Regional Biogas Plant Creates Renewable Energy From Campbell Soup Company Wastes

Local organic wastes from the Campbell Soup Company and other area suppliers will soon be generating renewable energy, thanks to a new regional biogas plant currently in development in Napoleon, Ohio. Hull & Associates, Inc., an industry leader in engineering, energy and environmental consulting, and CH4 Biogas, LLC, a firm dedicated to pursuing opportunities for the anaerobic digestion of organic wastes, are currently working to permit and construct the project, which will be located on a 7.3-acre parcel on Township Road P3 across from the Campbell plant in Harrison Township.

Organic wastes from food processing remain largely untapped as a source of renewable energy in Ohio and across the country. Hull and CH4 studied the availability of organic waste streams in the region and determined that sufficient feedstocks are available from the Campbell plant, area food processors and waste recyclers, and local dairy farms to support the development of the regional biogas facility. Hull and CH4 entered into a development agreement with Campbell in October 2010 and the parties are currently working to secure the required permits for the project.

Once operational, the new facility will have capacity to anaerobically digest 450 tons per day of mixed organic waste. Biogas from the digester will fuel a 2.2 MW electric generator that will produce 22,660,000 kWh per year of renewable electricity and low-pressure steam. The biogas plant will operate as a zero-discharge facility. All incoming wastes will be pasteurized prior to anaerobic digestion. Post-digestion liquids will be dewatered, and the separated solids will be used as a soil amendment on regional farms.

The parties have formed Napoleon Biogas, LLC to build, own and operate the $10 million facility. The project will be partially financed with tax-exempt bonds issued by the Regional Port Authority of Northwest Ohio and equity provided by Hull and CH4.

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