Baker Tilly Capital Arranges Financing on $28.5 Million Anaerobic Digester for GreenWhey Energy, Inc.
When completed in the summer of 2013, the project is expected to be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States.
Baker Tilly Capital, LLC, a subsidiary of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, served as a consultant to GreenWhey Energy, Inc. in the recent closing of $28.5 million in construction and long term financing for an innovative anaerobic digester facility in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. When completed in the summer of 2013, the project is expected to be one of the largest facilities of its kind in the United States.
"We are proud to be associated with the GreenWhey Energy project as they are helping to create a more sustainable future by solving waste treatment issues and harnessing alternative energy sources at the same time", said Michael Land, Director, Baker Tilly Capital.
Project investment included senior loan financing from Caterpillar Financial Services, New Markets Tax Credit financing from CAP Services, Inc., as well as equity funding from Geo Investors Fund. The project will also qualify for a federal grant (Section 1603) upon completion of construction. The 1603 grant is being bridged by a financing agreement which includes participation from the Wisconsin State Energy Program administered by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation.
In addition to securing commitments from each of the above mentioned funding parties, Baker Tilly Capital also supported management's negotiation and structuring of project agreements required by funding parties as conditions to closing. These included multiple wastewater feedstock agreements, the power purchase agreement, the design supply agreement with the technology provider and multiple construction contracts.
GreenWhey Energy President Tom Ludy summarized the digester process: 500,000 gallons per day of waste water from several local food processors that is currently being disposed mostly through land spreading, will now be converted into 3.2 megawatts of renewable energy, process heat, and fertilizer.
The project is believed to be the first privately owned waste water treatment facility in Wisconsin that brings together the organic waste from multiple food producers – mostly cheese and dairy - into a central facility to treat that waste and generate electricity.
The electricity produced by the project will be sold to Xcel Energy (NYSE: XEL) and will be enough to power 3,000 average Wisconsin households.
The facility will help the Village of Turtle Lake attract and retain current employers in the food production industry without stressing the capacity of the municipal sewer treatment plant or having to go back to taxpayers to finance additional plant expansion.
Several additional benefits are expected to the local community from the project, including reduction of wastewater issues associated with the run off of phosphorus into lakes, rivers and streams. While lessoning odors for neighbors, the digester will also reduce approximately 100,000 tons of annual CO2 equivalent Green House Gas emissions. The heat produced will be sold back to local factories reducing the amount of natural gas needed to run industrial processes. By-product from the digester process will be turned into clean and organic fertilizer to offer area farmers a nutrient rich soil supplement.
The project will provide 50-75 construction jobs and up to 13 full time equivalent operating jobs. It also provides a direct benefit to local food processors that need to manage their cost of waste water disposal in order to stay competitive.
About Baker Tilly
With more than 1,400 employees, Baker Tilly provides a wide range of accounting, tax, and advisory services. Ranked as one of the top 20 largest firms in the country*, Baker Tilly serves clients from offices in Chicago, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York, Washington DC, and throughout Wisconsin.
Baker Tilly is an independent member of Baker Tilly International, a worldwide network of independent accounting and business advisory firms in 125 countries, with more than 24,000 professionals. The combined worldwide revenue of independent member firms exceeds $3 billion.