One of the oldest family brewery's in the nation is officially launching a multi-million dollar green project.
The F.X. Matt Brewery unveiled a new bio-gas-to-power system today, a process known as anaerobic digestion. The brewery has built a new facility with anaerobic tanks that will convert the brewery's waste water to generate electricity.
This system will produce enough clean energy to power the equivalent of 4-hundred homes.
"We're taking waste water which we would basically put down the drain and we are going to create energy out of it," said Chairman and CEO, Nick Matt.
The biogas-to-power system, a process also known as anaerobic digestion will provide up to 40 percent of the brewery's daily power.
The green project is also expected to save them about $350,000 a year.
"We're going to clean up our waste water by 80 percent. You are probably aware of New York State's sewer system. They are loaded. We will be taking a big load off. We are probably a big contributor," said Matt.
The technology has several steps. The organic wastewater from the brewing process will be pumped into a holding tank.
It will be then pumped into five digester tanks where bacteria will digest the water...
"Through the chemical process of the bacteria operating on the organic waste, it produces bio-gas, gas which gets fed into an engine and that generates electricity," said Frank Murray, the President and CEO of NYSERDA.
The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority or NYSERDA's grant program provided a $1 million incentive to the brewery.
The company also got over $700,000 in funding from National Grid's Energy and Economic Development program.
The total project cost five million dollars.
"We started out with a 3 or 4 year pay back. We are now between 5 and 6 but it's still economically pretty good," said Matt.
This project is not complete yet. The brewery says the other part of the project will be to build a green-space park between the digester facility and the tour center.
It's expected to be complete by the spring of next year.