October 21, 2015, Boston, MA – At its third annual conference, the American Biogas Council (ABC) recognized 12 organizations for their leadership and innovation, which are helping to strengthen and grow the U.S. biogas industry.
The award recipients were honored during the 2015 Biogas Industry Awards Reception held during BioCycle REFOR15 Conference and Expo. This year, the ABC recognized biogas industry leadership and innovation with three awards: Innovation of the Year, Project of the Year and the new Outside-the-Box award.
"The Biogas Industry Awards not only recognize excellent projects and innovations," explained Bernie Sheff, chairman of the ABC board and vice president of engineering for ES Engineering Services. "They recognize great industry achievements and creative solutions to commonly faced issues that can be held out as an example to others."
This year, the ABC expected to present six awards, one Innovation of the Year Award, one Outside the Box Award, and four Projects of the Year across four categories: agricultural, municipal, institutional and merchant. In the end, 12 were awarded.
"The quality of innovation in the biogas industry is at a fever pitch today," remarked Patrick Serfass, executive director of the ABC. "We're excited to honor our winners for their steadfast commitment to overcoming obstacles and discovering new ways to help us deploy more biogas systems in the U.S."
There are more than 2,100 operational biogas systems in the U.S. today with the potential for more than 11,000 new systems to be built.
Biogas Projects of the Year:
- The Furrer and Martin Families' project – Green Cow Power in Goshen, IN – was named agricultural Biogas Project of the Year for their complex project which uses manure from five dairies, plus large volumes of food waste, to generate more than 3MW of electricity, heat, digested liquids for fertilizer, and digested solids for cow bedding.
- quasar energy groups' project – Wooster Renewable Energy in Wooster, OH – was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their project which digests biosolids, FOG and food waste at a volume that's five times the throughput of the city's original system to generate electricity in excess of the plant's needs, as well as heat and digestate used as fertilizer.
- The City of Gresham's Cogen Expansion and FOG Receiving Station project in Gresham, OR was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their operation of a net zero energy, 10 MGD water resource recovery facility which uses biosolids, FOG from restaurants and food waste to generate 800 kW of electricity and heat, and digestate used as a fertilizer at local farms. In addition to the notable physical plant, its creative use of a wide variety of financing tools such as RECs, transferrable tax credits, and public funds from both the city and state sets this project apart from its peers.
- Minnesota Municipal Power Agency's project –Hometown BioEnergy in Le Sueur, MN – was awarded the municipal Biogas Project of the Year for their operation of a large Minnesota Municipal Power Agency digester which uses local manure, sweet corn silage, and FOG to generate 8 MW of electricity, heat, digested liquids for farm fertilizer and digested solids for cow bedding, burnable fuel or soil enhancement. The size of the system compared to other municipal biogas projects and its gas storage system which provides the option to only generate power during peak needs, sets it apart from its peers.
- Univeristy of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation's Rosendale Biodigester project in Pickett, WI was awarded the institutional Biogas Project of the Year for their collaborative project between the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Rosendale Dairy, which uses manure from Wisconsin's largest dairy to generate electricity, heat, liquid digestate for fertilizer and digested solids that are pelletized for use as a soil amendment. Apart from the physical plant, this first of its kind learning facility serves as a teaching center for the development of technicians, scientists, engineers, and animal husbandry specialists sets it apart from its peers.
- CleanWorld's project – UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ) in Davis, CA – was awarded the institutional Biogas Project of the Year for their innovative system which uses manure and 50 tons per day of food waste to generate digested liquids for fertilizer and biogas which is blended with landfill gas to generate electricity from several microturbines. What sets this project apart from its peers is the combination of wide variety of feedstocks, the blending of landfill gas with digester gas and the use of microturbines to power the university's West Village Project.
- Forest County Potawatomi Community's Renewable Generation Biogas Facility in Milwaukee, WI was awarded the merchant Biogas Project of the Year for their exemplary system that brings together many players, using food waste from local casino, grocers, the dairy, meat and beverage industries plus byproducts of pharmaceutical and methanol production to generate 2MW of electricity, heat, and digested solids for fertilizer. The successful operation of this enormously complex collection of partnered organizations and feedstocks – plus its performance, which has doubled expectations – sets this project apart from its peers.
- South San Francisco Scavenger Company's project –Blue Line Biogenic CNG Facility in San Francisco, CA – was awarded the merchant Biogas Project of the Year for their successful operation of a dry biogas system which uses commercial and residential yard and food waste to generate 120,000 diesel gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas each year for waste hauling vehicles and organic-certified compost. This exceptional physical plant plus the integration of dry digestion and vehicle fueling, where each collection vehicle will collect enough organic material on its route to fuel the vehicle for the day, sets it apart from its peers.
Biogas Innovations of the Year:
- Magic Dirt, LLC's product, MagicDirt Premium Potting Soil, was named product Biogas Innovation of the Year because it represents both a product innovation for creating a sustainable, saleable product from digester-derived fiber and a marketing innovation for successfully selling a consumer product through major retailers such as Walmart. The success of Magic Dirt in the marketplace demonstrates that digester co-products can gain access to national retail markets, contribute to the greenhouse emission reduction goals of major retail chains, and attain consumer acceptance-all while contributing to the bottom line of the biogas project.
- quasar energy group's technology Phosphorus Recovery System was awarded the technical Biogas Innovation of the Year for its innovative and exemplary portable phosphorus removal system. This technical innovation, which has been proven at scale, will help farms with and without digesters plus water resource recovery facilities to remove 99 percent of phosphorus from organic material, both preventing it from entering our waterways and recovering it for use where the nutrients are needed most. The mobile and versatile qualities of the system plus the nearly complete recovery of phosphorus and proven performance make this technology stand out as an exemplary technical innovation.
- DVO, Inc.'s technology Phosphorus Recovery was awarded technical Biogas Innovation of the Year for its exemplary and innovative phosphorus and nitrogen removal system. This technical innovation has been proven to perform at scale and ultra-low cost removing 95 percent of phosphorus and 50 percent of nitrogen from digested material both preventing the nutrients from entering our waterways and recovering them for use where they are needed most. The nearly complete phosphorus recovery, impressive nitrogen recovery, proven commercial-scale performance and all at an ultra-low cost make this technology stand out as an exemplary technical innovation.
- Newlight Technologies was awarded the Outside-the-Box Award for development and commercialization of its AirCarbon Greenhouse to Plastic technology. The AirCarbon process combines air and biogas with Newlight's biocatalyst to create a carbon-negative polymer at ambient operating conditions-no high pressures, high temperatures, or multiple major unit operations-generating significant savings in energy, water, capital costs, and carbon emissions. Turning biogas into cell phone cases and similar products is an innovation that should soon be "in the box" for the biogas industry.