Vashon’s Island Spring Organics to install biodigester to generate energy

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A solar rooftop for a grocery store in south Kitsap, energy improvements for a new addiction-treatment facility in Seattle, and a biodigester on Vashon Island are the latest projects to be financed through the Sustainable Energy Trust (SET).

The three projects total $1.6 million in loans from the SET, a revolving loan fund of the Washington State Housing Finance Commission that finances energy-efficient and renewable-energy projects around the state.

“Energy savings make a huge difference for any organization – whether it’s a grocery store or a nonprofit – and we’re happy to partner with the Food Market, Valley Cities, and Impact Bioenergy in their efforts to keep Washington green,” said Karen Miller, chair of the Housing Finance Commission.

The new community digester on Vashon Island will be installed at Island Spring Organics, a tofu manufacturer. Island Spring will use the digester to generate renewable natural gas, heat, power, carbon dioxide and plant food from an estimated 925 tons of organic waste each year. The digester is owned by Impact Bioenergy, a Washington-based organization that develops and manufactures bioenergy products that enable communities and businesses to turn food waste into renewable energy and organic plant food sources.

“Impact Bioenergy is thrilled to partner with the Vashon Island community, our state Housing Finance Commission and the Clean Energy Fund, to enable more sustainable and holistic solutions,” said Srirup Kumar of Impact Bioenergy. “This project is at the nexus of local food, energy and water and even benefits disaster preparedness and resiliency thanks to decentralized organics recycling.”

The Food Market at Key Center in Lakebay, one of four independently owned grocery stores in south Kitsap and King counties, expects to generate enough power from its new rooftop photovoltaic solar system to offset over 40% of its refrigeration costs—and keep its prices low.

“Power costs will do nothing but go up,” said owner Don Stolz. “We’re there to support the community and provide good quality at a reasonable price.”

On Seattle’s Beacon Hill, Valley Cities used the Commission’s Land Acquisition Program loan to purchase property, and a SET loan to finance part of the substantial renovation of an existing building into its new Recovery Place Seattle. The intensive residential facility for substance-abuse rehabilitation opened October 19 and expects to serve 1,500 people a year.

“Without financial support for the purchase and renovation, this building would have been torn down and in its place would be dozens of townhomes,” said Ken Taylor, CEO of Valley Cities Behavioral Health Care. “Now there is hope for thousands of people and their families.”

The energy upgrades to the HVAC and lighting systems will help the building exceed compliance with the Washington State Energy Code by at least 10%.
For more information about the Sustainable Energy Trust,
visit wshfc.org/energy