A deal is in the works for Clear Horizons to sell the manure digester just north of Waunakee to Clean Fuel Partners, LLC, the companies announced earlier today.

"Discussions between the two organizations are expected to continue with a goal of finalizing a transaction in the coming weeks," a press release noted.

Clean Fuel partners with ES Engineering, a full-service engineering firm specializing in the delivery of renewable energy, water and wastewater services, with 75 years of experience in the design, construction, operation and trouble shooting of anaerobic digestion systems, according to the release.

The digester serves three Town of Vienna farms, collecting manure and removing phosphorus while creating biogas to be transformed into energy. The digester returns a tea-like liquid for farmers to spread onto the fields, but without the phosphorus, any resulting runoff produces less algae in Lake Mendota and other waterways. It was built in partnership with Dane County with the intention of keeping the lakes cleaner.

The manure digester had been plagued with problems spanning from 2013-14, with numerous spills and even an explosion in one of the three tanks. Since then, Clear Horizons has made improvements and resolved a number of environmental violations with the Department of Natural Resources.

According to the press release, Clean Fuel's plan for the digester involves "extending the recovery put in place by Clear Horizons and bringing the facility to its design capability and beyond."

The Tribune will continue to report on this story as more details unfold.

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