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Friday, January 23, 2009

Work begins on renewable energy project at brewery

From an article by Steve Cahalan in the La Crosse Tribune:

Ground was broken Monday for a renewable energy system at City Brewery’s wastewater treatment plant, which will generate heat and electricity by burning methane gas now flared off as waste.

Work began for a building that will house most of the system, which will be owned by Gundersen Lutheran. Part of the system will be outdoors, Gundersen Lutheran spokesman Chris Stauffer said.

The biogas-fueled engine-generator system, expected to begin operating this spring, is a collaboration of Gundersen Lutheran and City Brewery.

It also is part of a Gundersen Lutheran systemwide project to eventually get all of its power from renewable energy sources, and to reduce energy use by 20 percent.

The brewery now burns off methane produced by the anaerobic digester at its wastewater treatment plant.

The new system’s engine will use the methane to generate more than 3 million kilowatt hours of electricity per year. That is enough to power about 280 average Wisconsin homes, said Corey Zarecki, Gundersen Lutheran efficiency improvement leader.

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