Augusta Renewable Energy LLC, a division of First Generation Energy, and the Augusta Economic Development Authority announced Thursday that the company will build its first Georgia anaerobic digestion facility in Augusta.
The company will invest approximately $20,000,000 and create ten new jobs in the highly technical operation.
First Generation Energy is a diversified service company providing a zero-waste solutions and small power generation options for industrial, food manufacturers, renewable energy and utilities. The primary renewal-energy source for Augusta Renewable Energy will be the used coffee grounds from the new Starbucks Soluble facility in Augusta.
Anaerobic digestion is the process by which naturally-occurring microorganisms break down organic waste material, such as coffee grounds, to produce a rich "biogas" which can be used in place of natural gas in the production of electricity. It can also be used as a transportation fuel alternative and as a nutrient-rich soil amendment for commercial and residential agricultural and horticultural markets. Anaerobic digestion is a proven technology throughout the world. It has been utilized in manufacturing and water treatment to commercial reuse programs. It remains today as one of Europe's preferred energy production methods.
First Generation Energy has formed a strategic partnership with environmental technology leader Eisenmann for the technology, build-out and operation, and with Caterpillar by utilizing its newly acquired MWM cogeneration engines in their biogas division. The company will also produce a private label line of soil amendments through its partnership with a Fortune 200 company.
Augusta Economic Development Authority Chairman Henry Ingram said, "Augusta Renewal Energy LLC is one of those companies that will help with the carbon footprint of the area. Primarily using coffee grounds, Augusta Renewal Energy will convert a landfill component into energy."
Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver said, "We welcome Augusta Renewable Energy to Augusta, and we are excited to have this company as part of our corporate community. Green energy is the wave of the future, and Augusta Renewable Energy will do their part to make sure we are efficient in our energy needs in the years to come."
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