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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Digester could be a 'whey' to turn waste into energy

From an article by Heidi Clausen in The County Today:

TURTLE LAKE - An anaerobic cogeneration facility being proposed in Turtle Lake could help solve a growing problem for area dairy processing plants.

GreenWhey Energy, a privately held company spearheaded by Lake Country Dairy founder and project manager Tom Ludy, would recycle about 330,000 gallons of high-strength wastewater daily.

Initially, the waste would come from at least five northwestern Wisconsin processing plants within about 60 miles of Turtle Lake.

Eventually, it could be feasible to expand the facility so it could take in wastewater from as many as 11 regional plants, Ludy said.

The project would generate enough electricity to power about 1,500 homes along the Xcel Energy grid and create 242 million BTUs of heat a day. Underground pipes would transfer the heat to businesses and other buildings throughout the village.

GreenWhey plans to donate a free heat supply to the Turtle Lake School District and provide nutrient-rich solids that could be sold as fertilizer to farmers.

After the digestion process, an aerobic digestion system would clean the water so it could be discharged above ground.

Plans are to have the digester project up and running by next November on property near Lake Country Dairy in Turtle Lake, Ludy said .

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