Chicago-based vertical farm and food business incubator The Plant has received a $1.5 million grant from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) that will allow it to turn brewery waste into energy.

The Plant says that the investment capital will be used to install an anaerobic digester and CHP system capable of producing 380 kW of electricity and 2.1 million Btu of thermal energy at the New Chicago Brewing Company.   

The process will meet the energy needs of the 8700 m2 facility, allowing energy independence through brewery waste that would otherwise be landfilled. Vertical farming is a concept that uses vertically inclined surfaces or skyscrapers in cultivation, instead of traditional land.

The $3 million project should be completed by June 2013, supported in part by the DCEO funds.

“This really could become a regional model for sustainability as well as a route to building out this part of the economy,” says DCEO director Warren Ribley.

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