Fremont biodigester reopens 2 years after shutdown

Fremont biodigester
An undated courtesy photo of the biodigester in Fremont. (Generate Capital Inc.)

FREMONT, Mich. (WOOD) — A biodigester that turned food scraps into green energy, which was shut down more than two years ago over financial problems, has reopened.

Novi Energy opened the $22 million plant in late 2012 with help from a $12.8 million loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. But the company shut it down in January 2015 in a dispute over ownership, leading to a lawsuit.

New owners, San Francisco-based Generate Capital Inc., started taking in food waste in July in a test run.

An undated courtesy photo of inside the biodigester in Fremont. (Generate Capital Inc.)

The company said it expects to start running at capacity later this fall, turning 165,000 tons of organic waste a year into enough green energy to power at least 2,500 homes.

Generate Capital is working with Wisconsin-based Dynamic Systems Management LLC to run the plant.

“We are working with nearby food processors and agribusinesses to help divert thousands of tons of waste from landfills,” Daniel Meccariello, chief operating officer of Dynamic Systems, said in a written statement. “We will be able to accept and process just about any type of organic material and turn it into an immediately usable, environmentally-friendly form of energy for local families.”

The company said it upgraded the plant with “state-of-the-art controls” that will minimize odors.