Mannheim, June 6, 2017
Every year, Harvest Power, operator of the Orlando Energy Garden and customer of Caterpillar in the USA, transforms 120,000 t of food waste into sustainably generated power and heat energy and natural fertilizer. With more than 60 million visitors a year, Orlando is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA. However, the numerous entertainment parks, hotels, and restaurants that are frequented by the crowds of tourists also result in about 10 kg of food being discarded every second in central Florida, i.e. approximately 1,000 t of food waste/day.
Win-Win Waste to Energy Story from Orlando
The organic material that is processed in the Orlando Energy Garden mainly comes from theme parks, entertainment quarters, resorts, and hotels in and around central Florida. Apart from the main parties Harvest Power, Caterpillar, and Ring Power, the range of partners of the Orlando Energy Gardens includes Walt Disney World Resort, Hilton, Marriott, and Sea World. The Walt Disney World Resort alone supplies the waste processing plant location with about 50 t of organic material a day.
The food waste is fermented in the digesters of the Orlando Energy Garden, delivering natural plant fertilizer and biogas with a methane content of 60 percent. The biogas mix is fed into two Caterpillar G3520C biogas engines for distributed energy generation. The gas engines have a total output of 5.4 MW and a power output of 3.2 MW and are thus able to supply the Orlando Energy Garden itself and an additional 2,000 households in central Florida with power and heat.
Fully Sustainable Energy Cycle
After about 30 days in the digester, the organic material is sufficiently dehydrated to be sold to local farmers and nurseries as black powder fertilizer. Those facilities use them to stimulate and support the cultivation of plants and vegetables. In this way, the waste processing plant’s unique, sustainable cycle is closed; should these foodstuffs be discarded one day, they will again land in the Orlando Energy Garden.
Watch this video for further information on the sustainable energy generation in the Orlando Energy Garden: