Grape waste generates energy
Vincor Canada has come up with a novel solution to what to do with waste from the grape crush that will reduce their carbon footprint and result in significant cost savings. The grape waste, or pomace, is normally put back into the vineyard or sent to a landfill but Vincor plans to sell about 3,500 tonnes from its three Niagara-on-the-Lake wineries to another local company, Vandermeer Greenhouses. Vandermeer will use the grape residue to create electricity to heat its greenhouses.
The process is known as anaerobic digestion, where organic matter is broken down in an oxygen-free environment, to produce methane gas which is then captured and used to generate electricity. Any surplus electricity would be sold to the Ontario Hydro grid. The anaerobic digester is a sizeable piece of kit developed in conjunction with CEM Engineering and PlanET Biogas.
Wineries generating the pomace for the project include Inniskillin Wines and Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery both in Niagara-on-the-Lake, and Vincor Niagara Cellars in Niagara Falls.
The one-year agreement with Vandermeer Greenhouses will start with the 2008 harvest.