Veolia recently signed a 5-year contract with Lowell Energy AD, managed by Sustainable Partners (SPART) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the operations and maintenance of its Lowell Energy Anaerobic Digester. Commissioned in 2015, the Lowell Energy biogas-to-electricity facility has sought to maximize its 800KW power output capacity. Under the contract, Veolia is charged with improving performance of the anaerobic digestion system to increase biogas and power output.
The Lowell Energy facility is a $6.6 million privately funded plant that uses food waste and cow manure in an anaerobic digester to create methane that powers an 800KW combined heat and power engine. The electricity generated is sold to the local municipal utility, Lowell Light and Power.
"We have seen consistent improvement in the plant's performance since Veolia began operating in February this year," said Greg Northrup, principal at SPART. "Veolia's experience in waste-to-energy was just what the plant needed."
Recognizing Veolia's unique expertise in both wastewater and energy operations, SPART selected the company to operate and maintain the Lowell Energy facility with the primary goal of increasing system performance.
SPART was recently recognized as Newsmaker of the Year in the Sustainability Category for their work with anaerobic digestion in west Michigan. The partnership is currently engaged in feasibility studies for a number of distributive energy projects—both biogas fired and natural gas fired—in the food processing, medical and manufacturing sectors.
"Veolia, by nature of its corporate mission, focuses on green energy and resource recovery," said John Gibson, president and COO of Veolia North America's Municipal & Commercial business. "Partnering with innovators such as SPART, where our shared commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and turning what was once waste into beneficial fuel, underpins Veolia's vision of sustainable communities and industry."