Veolia hires Sustainable Partners to run biogas power plant

Veolia said July 13 that it recently signed a five-year contract with Lowell Energy AD, managed by Sustainable Partners (SPART) of Grand Rapids, Michigan, for the operations and maintenance of its Lowell Energy Anaerobic Digester.

Commissioned in 2015, the Lowell Energy biogas-to-electricity facility has sought to maximize its 800-kW power output capacity.  Under the contract, Veolia is charged with improving performance of the anaerobic digestion system to increase biogas and power output. 

The Lowell Energy facility is a $6.6 million privately-funded plant that uses food waste and cow manure in an anaerobic digester to create methane that powers an 800-kW combined heat and power engine. The electricity generated is sold to the local municipal utility, Lowell Light and Power.

“We have seen consistent improvement in the plant’s performance since Veolia began operating in February this year,” said Greg Northrup, principal at SPART. “Veolia’s experience in waste-to-energy was just what the plant needed.” 

SPART was recently recognized as Newsmaker of the Year in the Sustainability Category for its work with anaerobic digestion in west Michigan. The partnership is currently engaged in feasibility studies for a number of distributive energy projects—both biogas-fired and natural gas fired—in the food processing, medical and manufacturing sectors.

“Veolia, by nature of its corporate mission, focuses on green energy and resource recovery,” said John Gibson, president and COO of Veolia North America’s Municipal & Commercial business. “Partnering with innovators such as SPART, where our shared commitment to reduce greenhouse gases and turning what was once waste into beneficial fuel, underpins Veolia’s vision of sustainable communities and industry.”

Veolia group is the global leader in optimized resource management. With over 174,000 employees worldwide, it designs and provides water, waste and energy management solutions that contribute to the sustainable development of communities and industries. In 2014, Veolia supplied 96 million people with drinking water and 60 million people with wastewater service, produced 52 million megawatt hours of energy and converted 31 million metric tons of waste into new materials and energy. Veolia Environnement (listed on Paris Euronext: VIE) recorded consolidated revenue of $30.3 billion in 2015.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.