Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Forest County Potawatomi Opens $20 Million Renewable Energy Facility


TheForest County Potawatomi Community (FCPC) announced the opening of its approximately $20 million facility that uses food and beverage processing waste as a fuel source that will ultimately produce up to 2.0 megawatts (MW) of clean, green and renewable electricity. That’s enough energy to power about 1,500 homes while also providing waste heat for beneficial reuse.

The plant, known as FCPC Renewable Generation Digester, is located one block west of the Tribe’s Menomonee Valley casino and uses a proprietary anaerobic digestion process to convert liquid organic waste, referred to as feedstock, into biogas. The feedstock is broken down into microorganisms in one of two 1.3 million gallon digester tanks. This process creates a methane gas that’s burned in an engine that produces renewable electricity. The power will then be sold to We Energies. The facility also includes a combined heat power plant that can recover heat from the biogas production process to provide hot water and heating.

“Our tribe’s culture and traditions establish a duty to help protect and enhance environmental resources,” said Potawatomi Chairman Gus Frank. “This project not only helps us meet our energy and sustainability goals, but is also important to the region as it removes a waste stream while providing clean and renewable power.”

“The FCPC Renewable Generation Digester helps Wisconsin food and beverage manufacturers dispose of feedstock in an environmentally-friendly manner that enhances and achieves their sustainability goals,” added Jeff Crawford, the tribe's attorney general and leader of FCPC Renewable Generation. “The facility will allow all involved to be both environmentally and fiscally responsible, which makes our community a better place to live and work.”

The FCPC Renewable Generation Digester received funding from the U.S. Department of Energy and Focus on Energy. The Tribe also partnered with several Wisconsin-based companies on the development of this project including:

· Miron Construction Co. -- overall project management and general contracting services

· Symbiont, Inc. -- balance of plant engineering

· Titus Energy -- significant pre-development work and other consulting services

· Greenfire Management Services, LLC., a subsidiary of Potawatomi Business Development Corporation -- owner’s representative consulting services

· Rockwell Automation -- Allen-Bradley® motor controls

Additionally, General Electric’s Waukesha plant manufactured the facility’s two internal combustion biogas engines. This is first U.S. deployment of this engine model for use in continuous generation.

The construction of the renewable energy plant is part of a broader $200 million investment the Tribe has underway in the City of Milwaukee. This includes the recently opened $36 million Data Holdings data center in Milwaukee’s historic Concordia neighborhood and the $150 million, 381-room hotel adjacent to Potawatomi Bingo Casino scheduled to open in summer 2014.

Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abeleand Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett were among the one hundred guests at the facility this morning to mark its official opening.

The Forest County Potawatomi Community is a federally recognized Native American tribe located in Northeastern Wisconsin with a membership of about 1,400. In addition to their work for the environment, the Potawatomi operate several tribal enterprises, including casinos in Milwaukee and Carter, Wisconsin, and a Health & Wellness Center in Crandon, Wisconsin. The tribe employs approximately 3,500 people in its government operations, casino operations, social services and additional business. For more information on the Potawatomi, please visit


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