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Friday, December 9, 2011

Potawatomi plan $18.5 million biomass energy project next to Milwaukee casino

From an article by Tom Content in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

The Forest County Potawatomi Tribe is proposing to build an $18.5 million biogas energy project adjacent to its Menomonee Valley casino.

The renewable energy plan calls for construction of an anaerobic digester that would produce both electricity as well as heat that would provide for hot water and heating to the casino.

The digester would produce gas from wastes produced by the food processing industry, the Potatatomi said in a proposal filed with the City of Milwaukee.

The tribe estimated the project would create 61 construction jobs and five full-time jobs. If all approvals are obtained, construction would begin in late spring and be completed by early spring in 2013.

The facility would be located one block west of the casino on the site of what is now a parking lot for casino employees. The tribe says it has ample parking at the casino and that the development would not result in additional street parking.

The tribe was awarded a $2.5 million grant for a variety of renewable energy projects from the U.S. Department of Energy. This project would be funded, as well as a recently completed solar installation at the tribe's administration building in Milwaukee and renewable energy projects that are in the planning stage on the tribe's reservation in northern Wisconsin.

Under the proposal, the biogas project would generate 2 megawatts of electricity, which would be sold to We Energies. That is enough power to supply about 1,500 typical homes. The project would include heat recovery equipment to proivde heat and hot water for the digesters themselves as well as excess heat that would be used to supply heat and hot water to the casino.

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