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Board Nears Approval of Food Waste-to-Energy Plant in Mass.

The anaerobic digester, developed by Vanguard Renewables, will capture naturally occurring methane gas and use it to fuel a generator.

The Haverhill (Mass.) Board of Health is reportedly close to approving a food waste-to-energy anaerobic digestion plant at a local farm.

During a public hearing, board members said they would issue a site assignment in time to allow the plant’s developers to sign an electricity agreement with the city. has more:

The city will buy electricity, initially at 13 cents-per-kilowatt hour and then the rate increases one percent annually. Farm owner C. Michael “Mike” Davidowicz plans to use the anaerobic digester, developed by Vanguard Renewables of Wellesley, to capture naturally occurring methane gas and use it to fuel a generator producing a megawatt of electricity. Byproducts of the process will be used as natural fertilizer. The plant will be set back away from the property line in a low area behind a barn and a driveway. The entrance will be paved to eliminate dust generated from farm and other vehicles, Davidowicz has said.

Steven D. Sardella, the nearest neighbor to the farm, said except for one area of confusion about the existing farm, there is no opposition to the plant. He warned future complaints might also confuse odors from regular farm business and the power plant.

“Some people call me the mayor of Ward Hill and I funnel a lot of calls and complaints. A lot of times—and I noticed you mentioned odor quite a few times tonight—some people cannot tell the difference between the farm manure or corn silage,” Sardella said.

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