At GreenWhey Energy, we’ve written that our facility will be the “first of its kind” in the United States. But what do we mean by that, exactly? Certainly we don’t mean we’re the first anaerobic digester; there are already more than 100 of the systems operating in Wisconsin alone. We’re not even the first facility to take in wastewater from cheese manufacturers; a handful of municipal and industrial facilities are doing just that across the country (though there is room for many more).
No, what makes us unique is our scope and our business model. As far as we know, we are the only privately-owned anaerobic digester facility in the United States that will take in wastewater from multiple food manufacturers. Though Wisconsin is no longer dotted by hundreds of small cheese cooperatives, 236 resilient cheese factories remain, and the vast majority aren’t going anywhere. Many of these facilities would love a smarter way to manage their waste, but they don’t have the capital needed to scale an adequate biogas facility.
That’s where GreenWhey Energy comes in. We’ll handle the high strength wastewater for several cheese and food manufacturers in northwestern Wisconsin. They get the benefit of an eco-friendly way to manage wastewater that will never lead to costly fines from regulatory bodies. We benefit from a market-priced waste management fee, energy, and fertilizer. Every party (including the environment) is better off than it was before.
This group model has already emerged in other industries (read: Scotch whiskey distillers). We think it’s only a matter of time before it catches on among cheese manufacturers in Wisconsin and throughout the country.Share