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Friday, August 5, 2011

More Storage for Biodigester

Regional | by Bayshore News Staff  

Higher than expected production leads to more revenue and need for more storage.

Georgian Bluffs and Chatsworth will build additional storage for their biodigester.

Both councils approved the project at separate meetings on Wednesday.

It'll cost 303 thousand dollars for all aspects of building a new 56 hundred cubic metre.

It will be 14 feet high and 143 feet in diameter - and it will hold digestate produced by the facility.
The cost will be split between the two municipalities, which recently collaborated with the federal and provincial governments to build the biodigester south of Kilsyth.

It's the first municipally owned unit of its kind in the province.

Georgian Bluffs Mayor Alan Barfoot says they always intended to build a larger tank to hold the digestate, which is the byproduct of septage and organic waste put through the biodigester.
The facility removes the pathogens from the waste, creating methane gas which is turned into electricity for the grid.

The solid product left over is able to placed back into the earth.
But this byproduct, the digestate, can not be put on fields between December 1st and May 15th.

Hence the need for storage tanks.

But Barfoot says it's become obvious since the biodigester went into operation last winter that the current storage would not be sufficient to hold all that is produced.
The higher-than-expected production levels are twin benefits to Georgian Bluffs and Chatsworth, which are paid for the generated electricity.

But they also receive tipping fees for the waste that is put into the biodigester in the first place, as opposed to having to pay for the raw product.
Georgian Bluffs director of operations Rick Winters says demand is such that the municipalities can easily justify the costs of building new storage for the 3.8 million dollar facility -- which is expected to be paid off within eight years.
Barfoot says it's a win-win situation.
The two municipalities need an amendment to their certificate of approval from the Ministry of the Environment.

Once that is in place, work can begin on the storage tank. Ideally, it will be finished by the end of September.


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