Agriculture Chairwoman Sen. Debbie Stabenow, State and Local Government Officials Help NOVI Energy Break Ground for Construction of Fremont Community Digester
FREMONT, Mich., June 24, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — “Fremont Community Digester is demonstrating firsthand the important role West Michigan agriculture plays in developing new clean energy alternatives, which will create new jobs and protect our environment,” said U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow, Chairwoman of the Senate Agriculture Committee, to a group of Fremont community supporters and government officials as they broke ground today on the $22 million Fremont Community Digester power plant.
NOVI Energy is developing and managing the 3-megawatt Fremont Community Digester (FCD), which will convert approximately 100,000 tons per year of agricultural waste into electricity, fertilizer and compost for West Michigan area farms. Senator Stabenow was joined by State Representative Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo), U.S. Department of Agriculture State Director James Turner, INDUS Energy representative Arvin Shah, North Central Cooperative Senior Manager Rob Zeldenrust and NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan, in turning the ceremonial first shovels of dirt for construction of the project, which is scheduled to begin commercial operation in summer 2012. It is one of the first large-scale anaerobic digesters using co-digestion to be built in the United States.
“This project is a prime example of how agriculture, business and the community can come together to create jobs, improve the environment and manufacture green electricity for decades to come,” said Mr. Gangadharan. “Equally important, the support at all levels of government, and in particular Senator Stabenow, has been critical in making an innovative, alternative energy project like Fremont Community Digester a reality.”
NOVI Energy closed financing and hired construction contractor DeMaria Building Co. in May. More than 150 community leaders, government officials, investors and NOVI Energy employees celebrated the start of NOVI Energy’s largest energy infrastructure project to date.
“The City of Fremont welcomes the Fremont Community Digester. This is a good example of how an entrepreneurial company like NOVI Energy can work with the agricultural community and government to come up with a project that will benefit the community,” said Fremont Mayor James Rynberg.
Representative Bumstead of Michigan’s 100th District said the project will enhance the environment by turning agriculture waste into energy and fertilizer. “The Fremont Community Digester will generate green electricity for Consumers Energy and help our environment in the process. We need more innovative investments like this,” said Rep. Bumstead.
FCD will sell its electric output to Consumers Energy under a long term contract that has been approved by the Michigan Public Service Commission. The project also has signed feedstock supply contracts with Fremont-based Gerber Products Company and several other major regional food processors and agricultural operations. NOVI Energy is working to develop other such anaerobic digester/power projects in the Midwestern United States.
Fremont Community Digester’s majority owner is INDUS Energy, LLC, an investment group located in Bingham Farms, MI. North Central Cooperative of Wabash, IN is a minority owner and will market the plant’s fertilizer and compost. Comerica Bank is providing debt financing for the project with the backing of a debt guaranty awarded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) under its 9003 Biorefinery Assistance Program.
NOVI Energy is an entrepreneurial company that provides a broad range of services in energy consulting, energy management and energy infrastructure project development for utility, industrial, institutional and commercial clients across the United States and the world. For more information, visit www.novienergy.com or call 248-735-6684.
SOURCE NOVI Energy