Harvest Power organics-to-energy facility on line in Fla.

By Anna Simet | March 03, 2014

Harvest Power Inc.’s 5.4-MW, combined-heat-and-power, organics-to-energy facility is now on line in Bay Lakes, Fla., and will process more than 120,000 tons of food scraps each year when running at full capacity.

The Central Florida Energy Garden facility is located within the Reedy Creek Improvement District, the immediate governing jurisdiction for the land of the Walt Disney World Resort. The resort has become the first Energy Garden’s customer, and many restaurants, hotels and food processors throughout the region are expected to send food scraps to the digester as well.

The facility uses a low-solids anaerobic digestion, which the company describes as the best technology for pumpable slurries like manure, wastewater and pulped food scraps that are less than 20 percent solids content. At the Energy Garden facility, materials are blended, mixed with heated water and inoculum to kick start the digestion process and pumped into the chamber where digestion and biogas production occur. Post digestion, solids are separated from liquids and either composted to become a mature soil amendment. Liquids are processed through a wastewater treatment system.

Based on the fact that in central Florida, about 24 pounds of food waste enters a landfill every second—more than 1,000 tons per day—Harvest Power has launched a campaign “Orlando Or Landfill? Responsible Food Recovery” to encourage businesses to divert food waste from landfills and convert it to energy via the Energy Garden.

Harvest Power currently manages more than 2 million tons of organic material through close to 40 operating sites in North America, according to the company, has nearly 65,000 megawatt hours per year of heat and power generating capacity, and sells nearly 33 million bags of soil, mulch and fertilizer products to agricultural producers and landscapers annually.

Harvest Power was recently named one of the world’s 50 most innovative companies by Fast Company.