Environmental Protection

Artist rendering of organic waste anaerobic digestion facility

W2E Now Permitted for Organic Waste Facility in South Carolina

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has granted W2E a solid waste permit for its planned anaerobic digestion facility in Columbia.

W2E received a solid waste permit from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) recently, paving the way for the construction of a state-of-the-art anaerobic digestion facility in Columbia. The facility will begin construction under the supervision of W2E and will turn organic waste into natural gas for electric power production.

The soil amendment produced by the facility will be used for local agriculture as well as commercial and residential landscape applications. The organic waste consists of food, grease, produce, yard, and several other sources that together provide a nutrient- and energy-rich mix from which the anaerobic process converts the waste into biogas.

The facility is scheduled to begin processing waste in 2011. Once completed, the anaerobic digestion plant will accept all forms of organic waste from a variety of sources. Daniel Rickenmann, CEO, characterized the Columbia facility as the flagship of W2E’s national build-out of anaerobic digestion facilities. “We have developed a significant group of partners with waste streams for our system, and we look forward to beginning this brand new effort to process Columbia waste into energy.” Rickenmann said.

W2E has commitments from various commercial waste streams including Walmart, Quest Recycling, Dorado, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Pascon, Palmetto Health, Harvest Hope Food Bank, Pontiac Foods, McEntire Produce, Farmers’ Market, and WP Rawl.

The project in Columbia is the flagship and prototype for the company's anaerobic digestion facilities. Additional facilities are planned in the near future at Gastonia, N.C., and Baton Rouge, La.

W2E organic power will be fed into the electrical grid. Power purchase agreements are being negotiated to account for use of electricity, natural gas, and potentially green compressed natural gas in future years.

W2E is joining with Eisenmann, the technology developer and engineering lead, to begin site construction in the coming months.

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