Energy company, Heaven Hill pull out of plans for methane plant - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Energy company, Heaven Hill pull out of plans for methane plant in west Louisville

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A rendering of the proposed biodigester. A rendering of the proposed biodigester.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The companies looking to build a methane plant have pulled out of plans to build one in west Louisville, according to Metro Council. 

“A few weeks ago, I urged STAR BioEnergy and Heaven Hill to pull back on the biodigester proposed for 17th and Maple streets, and I'm pleased to see that they have done that," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said in a statement.

The multi-million dollar methane plant would take leftover grain from the distilling process at local liquor distilleries and convert it into bio gas. However, after vocal opposition from residents in the area, the company behind the plans has decided to pull out. Metro Council confirmed the action Thursday.  

"I'm just happy it's not gonna be here," said Carolynn Ferrell, who lives across the street from the proposed site. 

Some members of Metro Council are also pleased with the development. 

"It's been a tough fight but what matters is what happened in the end. We win. The people won," said Councilwoman Mary Woolridge. 

"Everybody was saying the same thing, why would we want to put a biodigester 125 from somebody's front door?" Councilman David James said.

In a release, the company said it should have gone about the process differently from the beginning but said it is looking for a new site for the plant. 

"The company is following the advice of members of Metro Council, and they are looking for alternative sites in industrial or other appropriate areas," the release stated. "Currently, STAR has identified several sites that they are looking at throughout the county and the region."

In the release, the company cited opposition to the project from residents of the area. 

“The BOZA meeting on Dec. 7 sent a clear message”, stated Allan Latts, Chief Operating Officer of Heaven Hill Brands. “We recognize that the concerns we heard at that meeting had to do with more than just building a digester.”

"Anaerobic digesters are a safe and sustainable way to diversify our energy portfolio and help the environment, and I trust our community will be able to find appropriate sites for this technology," Fischer's statement continued. "I appreciate the work of STAR and Heaven Hill to bring this green technology to our city. I also appreciate all of the community involvement that has led to this announcement today.”

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