On Thursday, October 12th – a beautiful fall evening – Energy Vision’s 17th annual Leadership Awards Reception had a full crowd of 150 clean energy business leaders, environmental justice organizations, local political leaders and supporters. Its awards went to projects processing food and agricultural waste into fuel and soil amendments.
As Energy Vision’s founder, Joanna Underwood, said, “Through anaerobic digestion, we can process the world’s organic waste, and globally, most anthropogenic methane comes from agriculture and waste – about twice the methane fossil fuels emit. Methane is one of the most potent greenhouse gases there is. In the digesters the methane biogases emitted by the waste can be captured and refined into clean fuel. The biosolids can be turned into high-quality soil amendments. Every country in the world needs lower methane emissions, clean fuel, and a way to restore soils. Once the anaerobic digester infrastructure is in place, we get free, carbon-negative fuel and fertilizer from farms, businesses and municipal wastewater, etc. These facilities will be crucial worldwide.”
Matt Tomich, who presented two of the awards said “There are currently 2400 anaerobic digesters in the U.S., and more in the pipeline, but there is room for many more. Thousands of facilities could use this technology.”
BioTown Biogas was the first awardee. Its digester processes food waste, manure, and other agricultural waste from around the region, producing an estimated 42 million kilowatt-hours of renewable power plus enough renewable natural gas (RNG) fuel to replace more than 3 million gallons of diesel fuel a year.
Dickinson College Farm, the second awardee, operates a digester as both a hands-on learning resource for Dickinson students and as a replicable model for other small farms nationwide. The digester processes waste from dairy cows, food waste from the College’s dining hall and local businesses, and spent grain from a local brewery. This eliminates farm runoff, avoids methane emissions, harnesses the biogas, and generates renewable electricity to power the college farm and sell back to the grid.
EMG International partnered with American Fruits & Flavors (AFF) to install EMG’s PurEffluent® system at AFF’s beverage factory in San Fernando, California to treat its high-strength wastewater. EMG’s system removes organics from the waste stream and uses them to generate biogas for renewable energy. It also reduces strain on the local municipal wastewater treatment plant and significantly reduces sewer surcharges.
The evening concluded with a fun raffle in which winners took home trips to an eco-friendly resort in the Dominican Republic, a weekend in a solar house in the beautiful Hudson Valley, NY, wine from Hunt Country Vineyards, a sustainable vineyard, and priceless original art.
We would like to extend our heartfelt thanks to Jay Bell, the talented designer behind this remarkable event, for his outstanding work. We also acknowledge Gordon Donovan for capturing the memorable moments beautifully through his lens. We also want to express our gratitude to Trader Joe’s and Kiehl’s for their generous contributions to our gift bags, making our event even more special. Your support is truly appreciated!