Advanced Water & Energy Solutions (AWES) is a management company organized by local and Midwest professionals to fully utilize the 25,000-square-foot wastewater pretreatment plant and biodigester energy generation system at 625 Chatham St. on the premises of Lowell Power & Light property in Lowell, Michigan.
Built with an initial investment of more than $6 million, the facility is designed to:
- Accept influent from corporate customers such as Litehouse Foods Inc., dairies, breweries and other generators of strong organic wastes that would overwhelm the Lowell wastewater treatment plant;
- Remove organic solids and lessen the biological oxygen demand of the wastewater it treats so the wastewater can be processed by the Lowell wastewater treatment plant and released in compliance with federal environmental standards;
- Accept various waste streams from local companies and convert the organic waste into methane to power onsite generators that can produce 800KW of electricity then sold to the Lowell Power & Light public utility; and
- Provide clean processed organic material to local farmers as a soil conditioner.
After opening in 2015, the facility experienced problems with handling the both the volume and composition of organic wastes to adequately control odor and process enough methane to operate the generators efficiently. From February 2016 to May, Veolia North America operated and maintained the plant. AWES is in the process of reworking the pretreatment side of the facility to process wastewater.