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SLO Green Waste Plant Snags $4 Mil Grant

August 4,2017-

European digester

European digester

A state-of- the-art anaerobic digestion facility designed to convert organic waste from San Luis Obispo County into renewable electricity will receive a $4 million grant from the California Energy Commission.

The CEC meets August 9 and is expected to approve the funding to HZIU Kompogas SLO, Inc for a demonstration project to utilize local food waste and green waste to create renewable electricity, compost, and liquid fertilizer.

The plant is already under construction on 12.5 acres near the SLO airport at 4388 Old Santa Fe Rd. The project was originally approved by the Board of Supervisors in November of last year. The plan has been to remodel an existing warehouse and build a 36,000sf processing plant, and 5000sf anaerobic digester. The project has been valued at $21 million.

In cooperation with waste haulers, the feedstock will be locally sourced from cities, communities, and unincorporated areas of San Luis Obispo County. Food collection and distribution programs will also be incorporated into the project to ensure recoverable food is used for human consumption before being used as feedstock for the facility. The resulting electricity, about 733kW, will be sold and exported.

Newly adopted state goals have called for increased production of renewable energy, increased waste diversion from landfills, and a reduction of short lived climate pollutant emissions, says a CEC staff summary.

“Increased deployment of anaerobic digester systems can help meet all of these goals by producing renewable energy, diverting organic waste from landfills, and reducing associated short lived climate pollutant emissions. However, anaerobic digester systems tend to be logistically complicated, technologically complex, and prohibitively expensive. There is a need to demonstrate and deploy cost-effective anaerobic digester systems in local communities.

The San Luis Obispo County Integrated Waste Management Authority (SLO IWMA) and Waste Connections (the franchised waste hauler) worked together to plan and design a unique, community-scale bioenergy facility. A regional organics collection program will be established to provide feedstock to the facility which will create renewable electricity, compost, and liquid fertilizer. Waste Connections conducted a thorough technology assessment and through competitive solicitation selected Hitachi Zosen Inova U.S.A., LLC as its technology partner and facility operator.” The parent company is based in Zurich, Switzerland.

The project its expected to create 5 jobs and have a $1.1 million operational impact.

The energy commission hopes that this technology, used widely in Europe, will be validated for use in California.

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