Bear Republic Brewery in Cloverdale, Calif., has deployed an innovative wastewater-to-energy system called EcoVolt that uses bioelectric technology to simultaneously treat water and generate renewable biogas to fuel the facility.
The technology was developed by Cambrian Innovation with the support of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and funding from the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) national program. The Boston, Mass.-based business received funds from the program to research and manufacture systems that are capable of treating wastewater and producing electricity at the same time.
The EcoVolt technology can produce about half of the electricity needed to fuel the brewery and will also be able to provide up to 20 percent of the energy needed for heating. The brewery operates at an average annual capacity of 72,000 barrels of beer, the EPA's regional office said.
The formal launch of the technology at the Bear Republic Brewery was attended by Jared Blumenfeld, EPA Regional Administrator for the Pacific Southwest, who stated that the unique technology will allow the brewery to operate in a much more sustainable manner. Not only does the system allow the business to cut energy costs and preserve water, which is vital during California's drought, but it also allows local businesses to succeed and supports jobs in the area, he added.