USDA Rural Development Michigan State Director James Turner joined Senator Debbie Stabenow and local officials this summer in celebrating the opening of the largest commercial-scale anaerobic digester in the United States.
The Fremont Community Digester is an ambitious new use of a proven technology. Once used chiefly in farms, anaerobic digesters are now coming into their own.
The facility will convert organic waste products – such as farm and food waste – and process it into biogas. Approximately 1,500 local families will derive their power from this previously untapped energy source.
Just as importantly, the digester will greatly reduce pollution. As NOVI Energy President Anand Gangadharan noted during his remarks, the bacteria colonies within the tanks are voraciously hungry and can process more than 100,000 tons of waste. The byproducts of this process can be used for fertilizer, soil amendments and cow bedding.
USDA provided a $12,825,000 Rural Development loan guarantee to finance the project, which has a total cost of $22 million.
Anaerobic digesters are in concert with an agreement with U.S. dairy producers signed by the Secretary in Copenhagen, Denmark in 2009 to accelerate adoption of innovative manure to energy projects on American dairy farms. The agreement represents a dynamic public/private partnership and is another demonstration of the Obama Administration's commitment to curb the emissions of greenhouse gases.
To find out more about USDA’s energy programs, click here.