Food Waste to Power Renewable Energy Plant in Fremont

NOVI Energy president Anand Gangadharan (second from right) poses with (from left) Consumers Energy's Mark Devereaux, Dave Ronk and Tom Clark at a June 24 groundbreaking celebration for the Fremont Community Digester.

Here’s a great renewable energy story out of Fremont, Michigan. Today at a ground breaking of the Fremont Community Digester (FCD), we announced that Consumers Energy has contracted to purchase the total renewable energy output produced by the FCD. 

The $22 million digester and electric generator is being built by NOVI Energy, Indus Energy and North Central Cooperative, and is expected to begin commercial operation in the summer of 2012.  Agricultural waste products for the FCD will be supplied by Gerber Products, Fremont Cooperative Produce Company and other area agricultural companies.

David Ronk, our director of transactions and resource planning, remarked that this innovative facility is another sign that Michigan’s energy reform law is working by driving investment in renewable energy projects. “This is the first time Consumers Energy will be buying renewable energy from fuel produced by processed food waste,” said Ronk.

Consumers Energy will purchase approximately 380,000 megawatt-hours (MWh), or 19,000 MWh per year, of electricity from the FCD over the next 20 years at a cost of $55 million.  The FCD’s electric output is estimated at 3.1 megawatts. 

This is just one more example of the progress we are making toward having renewable energy projects provide 10 percent of the power we deliver to our 1.8 million customers by 2015. Consumers Energy is Michigan’s leading supplier of renewable energy.  Currently, about 5 percent of the electricity we supply to our customers comes from renewable sources.