Wisconsin digester project scores financing

By Anna Simet | February 26, 2013

A $28 million, 3.2 MW biogas energy project in Turtle Lake, Wis., has secured funding and is on schedule to be complete this summer.

Baker Tilly Capital LLC, a consultant to project developer GreenWhey Energy Inc., reported the group has successfully closed on $28.5 million in construction and long-term financing. Investments include senior loan financing from Caterpillar Financial Services, New Markets Tax Credit financing from CAP Services Inc., as well as equity funding from Geo Investors Fund and a federal grant.

The facility will take in and convert about 500,000 gallons of wastewater per day from area food processors—mostly cheese and diary—which, in order to mitigate surface water contamination, have been faced with tighter laws regarding the distribution of wastewater on farm fields, and consequently additional disposal expenses.

Project agreements required by funding parties have been reached, according to Baker Tilly, which include wastewater feedstock agreements, a power purchase agreement with Xcel Energy, a design supply agreement with the technology provider and construction contracts. Heat from the facility will be sold back to local factories.

Ecolab Inc. is the project technology provider, Caterpillar Inc. supplied two engines and generators, Symbiont Inc. is providing engineering services and Miron Construction Co. Inc. is the general contractor.

About 50-75 construction jobs will be created during project development, the company estimates, and 13 full time positions once the facility is operational.