Energy grant of $358,967 will help offset city's costs for Seneca Foods wastewater plant

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Marcia Nelesen
Wednesday, December 4, 2013

JANESVILLE--The city of Janesville has received a $358,967 grant from Focus on Energy for the $3.2-million industrial wastewater pretreatment facility the city is building for Seneca Foods.

Focus on Energy is the Wisconsin utilities' statewide energy efficiency and renewable resource program. The award is from the 2013 Renewable Energy Competitive Incentive program.

The grant means the city won't have to borrow as much money, and the project will break ground sooner than city officials had anticipated, Assistant City Manager Jay Winzenz said.

The grant is based on how much natural gas will be displaced by the methane created in the anaerobic lagoon, said Dave Botts, project manager and city utility director.

The city plans to sell the methane to Seneca to reduce the company's use of natural gas.

The city offered to build the lagoon to encourage Seneca to expand its processing facility at 418 E. Conde St. rather than in another state.

Seneca will build an 80,000-square-foot addition that can house up to five new packaging lines. The company agrees to employ an additional 25 people over 10 years.

The new line is part of a Seneca plan to package some of its fruits and vegetables in pouches rather than cans. The new packaging pouches are touted as a green alternative, Winzenz said earlier.

In addition, the lagoon might draw other food processing plants here. - See more at: http://www.gazettextra.com/news/2013/jun/25/janesville-city-council-approves-33-million-deal-s/#sthash.M05VCCJJ.dpuf

The wastewater pretreatment lagoon will be built across the street from Seneca and will lower the company's wastewater costs.

In addition, the lagoon might draw other food processing plants here.

City officials expect the city's $3.2 million cost will be repaid in less than a dozen years with the money the wastewater treatment plant will earn from the extra wastewater revenue and by the sale of methane gas produced in the lagoon back to Seneca.

Construction of the lagoon is scheduled to begin in spring and be finished by October, Botts said.

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