Campbell Soup Co. on Nov. 5 said it will create Ohio’s first commercial biogas power plant to generate renewable electricity at its Napoleon, Ohio, production plant. Campbell will divert 35-50 percent of the waste generated from its soup, sauce and beverage production away from Henry County landfills.
In addition to the Campbell waste, the anaerobic digester will process material from other area food processors, waste recyclers and local dairy farms. It will generate methane gas, which will be used to fuel turbines to replace about 25 percent of Campbell’s Napoleon facility’s annual electricity use. CH4 Biogas LLC is the technology provider and operator. A 15-year power purchase and services agreement will allow Campbell to use 100 percent of the electricity generated at a flat cost.
“This new biogas technology will improve Campbell’s Napoleon recycling rate to approximately 95 percent, reaching the company’s 2020 destination goal for the site early,” said Dave Stangis, Campbell’s vice president of public affairs and corporate responsibility. “The use of biogas energy will reduce greenhouse gas emissions associated with the use of electricity in this facility by approximately 16,000 metric tons per year, or the equivalent of 3,000 cars.”
The Napoleon Biogas plant will be located on more than seven acres of land directly across from the Campbell site in Harrison Township. CH4 will design, own and operate the site, acting as stewards of the land, protecting the watershed and recycling and processing the organic waste in an environmentally sustainable way, a Campbell statement said. Other area industry and farming operations will also be able to use the facility, as the digester is designed to handle approximately 450 tons of mixed waste organic material a day, leaving 60 percent available capacity.
Construction is under way and slated for completion in mid-2013. The project is financed by EKF (Eksport Kredit Fonden), the Danish state export credit agency, which will provide a debt guaranty on the financing and with investments from CH4 Biogas and BNB Napoleon Biogas.
The site is adjacent to a 60-acre, 9.8 MW solar system constructed by BNB Renewable Energy Holdings for Campbell in 2011 that currently provides 15 percent of power for Campbell’s Napoleon facility. These efforts reflect the company’s commitment to sustainable energy production in the areas of solar, wind and anaerobic digestion.