VERMONT – Leyline Renewable Capital has partnered with PurposeEnergy to construct developers designed to convert common food waste into renewable energy and clean water. The two companies have also worked to implement the SAINT project, which will be based in Vermont and will take the high-strength dairy waste from the native Ben & Jerry’s production facility to create 1 MW of renewable energy for those in the adjacent area.
The SAINT project will begin this year and will start processing ice cream waste by the end of 2022. Once implemented, the project will create enough renewable energy to power around 1,000 homes in Vermont and will eliminate phosphorus, preventing the chemical from making its way into the Lake Champlain watershed.
“By providing development-stage financing to PurposeEnergy, Leyline is supporting an initiative that will not only allow PurposeEnergy to generate renewable energy for the Vermont grid, but will benefit the entire St. Alban’s business community,” said Leyline chief executive officer Erik Lensch.
An abundance in phosphorus can create algae blooms which, in turn, reduce water clarity, create offensive odors and harm aquatic life. Algae blooms can also reduce the recreational use of the lake and negatively impact tourism and the natural environment of the entire region.
PurposeEnergy will construct the anaerobic pre-treatment plant right next to the Ben & Jerry’s main production factory, with the two being connected by a pipe buried in the ground. The purpose of the pipe is to transport Ben & Jerry’s dairy waste for treatment, which will eliminate the need for waste tanker trucks.
In order to maximize power output from the digesters, PurposeEnergy will infuse other feedstocks, including depackaged food waste, chocolate and cheese byproducts, with the ice cream – other businesses in the community can, as a result, also use the digesters to process their byproducts, which will save them money and reduce their carbon footprint on the area.
“PurposeEnergy hopes to revolutionize the way food and beverage production facilities process, utilize and reclaim organic waste,” said founder and CEO of PurposeEnergy Eric Fitch. “We are grateful that Leyline provided us with the critical capital we needed to get this project started, as well as the guidance we needed to initiate the SAINT project and help Ben & Jerry’s manage its byproducts in a sustainable way.”