The City of Grand Rapids, Mich., was working with Lawrence, Mass.-based American Capital Energy to design and install a new $18 million solar array at the former Butterworth Landfill site, but as of July 2016, American Capital has stopped working on the project and has stopped responding to emails, phone calls and letters.
After months of trying to reach the company to find out what happened, the City of Grand Rapids had its lawyers send a letter to American Capital in January 2017 stating that the deal was dead.
The solar array would have produced 3.8 million kilowatt hours of electricity for the wastewater treatment plant, but the city is now exploring a new project about half that capacity. The city expects to seek bids for the new project in fall of 2017.
The City of Grand Rapids is also gearing up to build a $21 million biodigestor at its Waste Resource Recovery Facility, which will help manage the food waste generated by Founders Brewing Company, Coca-Cola, Amway and SET Environmental.
For the first phase of the project, which is slated to be complete by 2018, the city plans to build three tanks that each have a capacity of 1.4 million gallons. The second phase of the project could include an expansion of three additional tanks.
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Grand Rapids is preparing to build a $21 million biodigester at its Water Resource Recovery Facility on Market Avenue.
The city's wastewater division has known for a while that it would need to adjust its operations to treat a growing stream of highly concentrated food waste from Founders Brewing Company, Coca-Cola, Amway and SET Environmental, said the city's Environmental Services Manager Mike Lunn.
"It's a good problem to have," Lunn said.