W2E to build $23 million WtE facility in SC

By Matt Soberg | September 06, 2011

W2E Organic Power is launching an anaerobic digestion project in Columbia, S.C., that it hopes will be a template for future waste-to-energy (WtE) facilities. Construction on the Columbia plant will begin in the coming months with operations expected to start in 2012.

The project is a collaboration of three companies specializing in various aspects of the renewable energy industry. W2E is a developer of renewable energy projects and is based in South Carolina. Chicago-based CIYCOR LLC, a renewable energy and construction company, is a co-developer and financial partner with W2E on the project. Eisenmann AG, also based in Chicago, is an engineering and renewable energy technology firm that will be designing and engineering the anaerobic digestion technology for the facility.

“We have developed a significant group of partners with waste streams for our system and we look forward to beginning this brand new effort to process waste into energy,” Daniel Rickenmann, CEO of W2E, said in a press release. “The strength of the project has been greatly enhanced by the addition of CIYCOR to the team, and we couldn’t be more positive about the early completion of the Columbia facility.”

The $23 million project will process organic waste to energy using anaerobic digestion technology.  The organics used will be food, grease, waste produce, yard waste and others. The company has received commitments from numerous commercial waste streams including large companies such as Walmart and Blue Cross Blue Shield.

The Columbia facility will process approximately 48,000 metric tons of waste per year, generating 3.2 megawatts of biopower. A long-term power purchase agreement with Santee Cooper, South Carolina’s state-owned utility, has been obtained and additional agreements are being negotiated, according to W2E.

With the Columbia facility as the model, additional WtE plants are planned in the near future at Gastonia, N.C., and Baton Rouge, La., according to the W2E release.