Heaven Hill Distillery Louisville

Heaven Hill and its partner STAR BioEnergy have agreed to withdraw their request for a permit to build an anaerobic digester near their Bernheim distillery in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. The methane plant was to take the spent grain from the distillery and convert it to energy in the bio-digester plant.

Over the past year there has been a very public, and often heated debate regarding anaerobic digesters. The issue has not been the technology or the need. The issue has been location. Because of numerous discussions with various residents and leaders in the community, and with help and support from the Mayor, STAR and Heaven Hill Brands will take the path of healing and withdraw the request for a conditional use permit to build an anaerobic digester at 17th Street.

“The BOZA (Board of Zoning Adjustment) meeting on December 7th sent a clear message”, stated Allan Latts, Chief Operating Officer of Heaven Hill Brands.  “We recognize that the concerns we heard at that meeting had to do with more than just building a digester. It has to do with a legacy of being overlooked and disrespected in west Louisville.  Trust now needs to be rebuilt.”

You can learn more about the bio energy making project from these related stories.
Zoning Board Votes to Delay Decision on Heaven Hill Bio Digester Plant
Group Once Opposed to Heaven Hill Bio Digester Plant, Now in Favor
Heaven Hills Bio Digester Partner to Gift Community $5 Million
School Board Endorses Biogas Digester at Heaven Hill Distillery
Heaven Hill vs. Toyota: 2 Stories of Renewable Energy – 1 is BullSh*t
Heaven Hill $40 Million Plan to Convert Spent Grain into Biogas Runs into Opposition
What is an Anaerobic Digester & How Does It Create Renewable Energy?

Steve Estes, President of STAR BioEnergy commented, “The Mayor was really instrumental in helping us understand that a win for everyone right now is healing and unity, not division”.

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Brian Zoeller, legal representative for STAR, offered that the company is following the advice of members of Metro Council, and they are looking for alternative sites in industrial or other appropriate areas. He also stated “The Company realizes it could have done a better job at the beginning of communicating what they do and how they work with communities. STAR should be seen as champions, not enemies, of the community. What STAR does is provide value to communities through providing good jobs in a growing industry, lessening the burden on landfills, reducing the carbon footprint caused by decaying organic materials, and creating renewable energy out of otherwise discarded materials.  Their goal is, and has always been, to create a win-win opportunity for the community as well as their business partners.”

STAR has identified several sites that they are looking at throughout the county and the region.  They have begun discussions with several, and as of this release have not ruled out any on their shortlist.  “STAR has heard the community and will be doing due diligence first. After a potential site is identified, the company will begin a dialogue with interested parties to inform them about plans and try to address any concerns and answer all relevant questions”, Zoeller continues.

Identification of a site is expected to take place in the near future, and the necessary community engagement will begin after that is determined.

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