Excavation has finally begun on our second digester; nine months after Andgar completed our Rexville project, their team is going back to work on a similar but slightly bigger manure-to-energy plant. We celebrated this important step with a groundbreaking ceremony--almost a hundred farmers, community members, and supporters joined us at the site on a gray but pleasant afternoon.
After people had a chance to get some refreshments, we had a short program. Whatcom County Executive Pete Kremen spoke about the importance of agriculture; we were also joined by 42nd-District Representatives Kelli Linville and Doug Ericksen as well as Bellingham Mayor Dan Pike and Lynden Mayor Scott Korthuis. Our regional USDA Rural Development business program representative Sharon Exley talked about building the funding package for the project through the REAP program. Next, we emphasized the importance of Puget Sound Energy and its Green Power program both in our comments and those by PSE's Tom Maclean. Finally, we invited up a whole line of project partners and turned over some shovelfuls of earth!
Whatcom Farm Friends added an event page for the groundbreaking to their project photo album--it already had greenhouse pictures, and Farm Friends will soon start adding construction photos. A reporter from the Bellingham Business Journal wrote a nice little story on the event, and other coverage included an article at the Biomass Magazine website as well as extensive re-printing of the press release from Puget Sound Energy.
We would like to extend our appreciation to everyone who helped us get to groundbreaking--it's taken two years, but the project is underway and very exciting! Stay tuned for further reports.