Energy from Biogas Waste

Heaven Hill Distillery in partnership with Nature’s Methane has proposed a $40 million plan to build an Anaerobic Digester next to its distillery in Louisville, KY. The biogas digester will convert spent grain (food waste) into methane gas. The methane gas can be used to generate electricity and heat, or can be processed into renewable natural gas and transportation fuels.

The project recently received a statement of support from the local school board, JCPS – Jefferson County Public Schools. Bonnie J. Hackbarth, JCPS spokeswoman said,

“The safety of our students, faculty and staff is JCPS’ top priority. We maintain close relationships with safety teams at various facilities throughout our district footprint.

JCPS safety and environmental officials have met with representatives of the Mayor’s office and with experts to receive full briefings regarding the proposed biodigester project. JCPS safety experts are familiar with biodigesters, and see them as one of many projects that can help make our city more green and sustainable while also creating energy to help power homes and businesses.

We believe that the biodigester project in the California neighborhood can be good for our city and for JCPS, and that, if designed and maintained properly with all of the required safety features, does not risk the health of our students or the community.”

While JCPS endorsed building biogas plant, a residential neighborhood group questions why the JCPS is getting involved in supporting such a project. Michael Brooks, CEO of California Neighborhood Leadership Council, Inc. was the spokesman for West Louisville Residents & Allies (WLRA) says that the people that he represents still say “No” to the plant.

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In a post to their Facebook page, the Brooks says, “Enough is enough! We are weary of those outside West Louisville deciding what our community should look like and what will work best for us.” Citing the “land grabs” by MSD (Metropolitan Sewer District), Metro and predatory landlords, the group says there is a pattern of land deals that result in little benefit to West End Communities. Meanwhile, from methane plants to lingering substandard education for West Louisville children, JCPS continues to show its true colors. Is it appropriate for a school board to support an economic development plan and over the objections of the community? You tell us.”

Louisville City Mayor Greg Fischer supports the plan for the biogas digester plant. He’s asked for a 60 day period for all involved to learn more about the proposal.

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