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March 19, 2024

Brunswick Landing waste 'digester' sold to New York energy company

File photo / Courtesy, Tranzon The 1-megawatt anaerobic digester at Brunswick Landing, shown in a 2018 file photo, is part of the facility acquired by Viridi Energy.

A Brunswick Landing facility that turns solid biowaste into electricity, built less than a decade ago for $10 million, has been sold to a New York energy company for an undisclosed price.

Viridi Energy said Tuesday it will convert the facility into a plant for producing renewable natural gas, which could come online in 2026.

In a news release, the company also said it has agreed to work with Vermont-based Casella Waste Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CWST) to collect and deliver the facility's feedstock — an estimated 85,000 tons of biowaste annually from a network of wastewater treatment plants.

The facility in Brunswick will generate enough renewable energy to heat more than 3,000 homes a year, according to Viridi, and will supply electricity elsewhere in Brunswick Landing, the business park that's home to over 160 companies.

Transforming the current solid-waste digester into one that produces both power and natural gas could also benefit Maine wastewater treatment plants, according to Viridi.

The new technology would help them comply with local regulations aimed at reducing contamination by per-and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), often called "forever chemicals."

"With Maine laws now prohibiting the practice of land-applying biosolids digestate in agricultural settings because of PFAS concerns, wastewater treatment facilities are facing the choice between two less sustainable alternatives: trucking the material long distances or landfilling it," the company said.

The anaerobic digestion system at Viridi's Brunswick facility is expected to reduce the volume of biosolids by nearly 90%, from 85,000 wet tons down to 10,000 tons a year, once the material has been dried.

“Our agreement with Viridi represents a major step toward finding a sustainable solution for Maine’s biosolids,” said John W. Casella, chairman and CEO of Casella Waste Systems.

“The need for efficient, responsible biosolids treatment and disposal solutions has never been more pressing. We are pleased to be working with Viridi to provide a comprehensive approach for managing this waste stream in a safe, sustainable, and beneficial way.”

Retrofitting the Brunswick Landing digester is expected to begin next year. The facility was constructed in 2015 at a cost of $10 million by Village Green Ventures.

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