The Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) today announced that the Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy program began accepting applications for construction projects and pilot projects that employ anaerobic digestion and other technologies that convert source-separated organic wastes into electricity or thermal energy.
“These unique investments in clean energy are part of a larger menu of projects designed to stabilize energy costs, cut greenhouse gasses and protect the environment, we urge public and private organizations to take advantage of this important program,” said Energy and Environmental Affairs Secretary Richard K. Sullivan Jr.
“This program will continue our effort to generate more megawatts of clean, renewable energy in the Commonwealth, while educating communities and businesses about the benefits of organics-to-energy technologies,” said MassCEC Chief Executive Officer Patrick Cloney.
Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy offers a variety of funding opportunities aimed at helping the state divert source-separated organic wastes from disposal and into the generation of electricity or thermal energy. The grant opportunities announced today will allow private or public sector entities develop facilities that convert their organic wastes to energy while increasing awareness of organics-to-energy systems in the Commonwealth. The program currently offers grants to public entities to assist in the planning for and review of organics-to-energy projects.
Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy targets technologies that convert organic materials such as pre- or post-consumer food waste, yard waste, and cow manure into electricity or useful heat by means other than direct combustion. A prime example of an organics-to-energy technology is anaerobic digestion, in which microorganisms break down organic material in the absence of oxygen to produce biogas. The biogas, which contains a high percentage of methane, can then be used to generate heat or electricity. Depending on the type of system, additional useful outputs may be produced, such as liquid fertilizer or compost. Beyond the diversion of organic waste from landfills or incinerators and the generation of renewable energy, the benefits of organics-to-energy facilities can include reduced water pollution, reduced burden on sewage treatment plants, reduced odors, displacement of fossil fuels, and manufacture of materials that can be improve soil health or productivity.
Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy supports the state’s effort to divert at least 35 percent of food waste from disposal by 2020, which would result in more than 350,000 tons of materials per year diverted from targeted businesses and institutional sectors, such as food processors, large institutions, hotels and convention centers.
For more information about opportunities through Commonwealth Organics-to-Energy visit: www.MassCEC.com/technology/organics-to-energy