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Monday, February 7, 2011

GreenWhey, Turtle Lake, to break ground for digester

From an article by Heidi Clausen in The Country Today:

TURTLE LAKE - After some setbacks, ground will be broken this spring for an anaerobic cogeneration facility aimed at solving a growing dilemma for northwestern Wisconsin dairy plants.

GreenWhey Energy Inc. is on target to begin construction in late March or early April on a 70,000-square-foot digester plant in Turtle Lake that will recycle wastewater from dairy and food processing, turning it into renewable energy and fertilizer.

The plant, scheduled to be operating by Nov. 1, will employ eight to 10 people.

Along with helping the dairy industry turn a liability into a commodity, the plant is designed to reduce the load on Turtle Lake's wastewater treatment plant.

GreenWhey is a privately held company spearheaded by Tom Ludy, who founded Lake Country Dairy in Turtle Lake in 2001.

Ludy outlined the company's plans in a public meeting Jan. 25 attended by about 50 people in Turtle Lake. Ludy said the meeting was held to address any concerns about the project before construction begins.

GreenWhey would be the second project of its kind in Wisconsin and is unique in its number of investors, Ludy said. A similar whey digester facility at Kraft Foods in Beaver Dam is owned by the municipality.
State officials and dairy companies across Wisconsin are watching the GreenWhey project closely in hopes that this type of project could help the dairy industry manage wastewater more sustainably.

The approximately $15 million project is being financed by private investors, grants and low-interest government loans.

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