Pennsylvania Leverages Recovery Funds for Biogas Projects
Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell on Dec. 22 announced the Commonwealth is investing $5 million in federal recovery money in eight innovative alternative energy projects that use biological materials such as sewage, animal and food processing waste to generate enough energy to power more than 80,000 homes.
"By wisely investing our federal stimulus dollars in large-scale alternative energy projects, we are aggressively moving forward to meet our future long-term energy needs, while creating multiple short-term benefits," said Rendell.
"The projects will also develop methods for handling various waste streams in more efficient and environmentally friendly manners. Farmers, food processors and local governments will now be able to better deal with various forms of waste material, use that waste to generate electricity, and in some cases, even using the waste heat generated to make the overall process even more efficient."
Federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds support the commonwealth's Green Energy Works! Biogas initiative. The projects will leverage an additional $22 million in private investments.
The eight projects receiving grants will generate more than 470,000 megawatt hours of electricity over their lifetimes. That is enough energy to power more than 47,000 average homes in Pennsylvania for one year. The projects will also generate the equivalent of 3,183 million cubic feet of natural gas. They also will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by 237,000 tons of carbon dioxide.
The eight Green Energy Works! Biogas projects are:
- Schreiber Foods Inc. -- $1,250,000 to install a 1.1 megawatt biogas-powered energy recovery system at a dairy plant expansion project that will allow the company to increase its food processing production waste up to three times its current level.
- Derry Township Municipal Authority -- $500,000 to use excess biogas from an anaerobic digester, which is typically burned off, to fuel an internal combustion engine that will generate electricity. Waste heat from the generator will be recovered and used to heat buildings at the plant.
- Anergy Inc. -- $254,382 to construct anaerobic digesters and improve manure management at three small dairy farms. Biogas produced by the digesters will be used to generate electricity for on-farm use and reduce energy costs.
- Hermitage Municipal Authority -- $350,000 to expand the average monthly capacity of the Bobby Run Water Pollution Control Plant and upgrade the existing anaerobic digester to allow acceptance of alternative feedstock such as restaurant and grocery store waste, grease trap waste and septage. The increase in biologically derived methane gas will be harnessed to produce electricity.
- Furmano Foods Inc. -- $850,000 to expand the company's wastewater treatment plant to use methane gas produced through the processing of organic waste to generate electricity and supply a portion of the facility's electrical needs.
- Ideal Family Farms LLC -- $433,716 to install an anaerobic digester to capture biogas from animal manure to fuel an internal combustion engine and produce electricity for use in barn heaters during the winter as a replacement for propane gas.
- NativeEnergy Inc. -- $893,752 to construct biodigesters on five dairy farms. The biogas resulting from the anaerobic digestion of animal waste will be used for power and useful thermal energy production.
- York City Sewer Authority -- $500,000 to replace an obsolete internal co-generation system with a more efficient micro-turbine system. Methane that is naturally produced during the wastewater treatment process will power a generator and produce electricity for plant operations.