By Dominic Gates, April 28, 2015, Seattle Times
Janicki Bioenergy, which has designed equipment for use in developing countries that turns human waste into drinking water and electrical energy, plans to establish a headquarters and manufacturing facility at the old Northern State Hospital campus in Sedro-Woolley that could create more than 500 jobs.
Gov. Jay Inslee on Friday signed into law a bill allowing the Port of Skagit to lease the site to Janicki.
Brenda Thomas, senior program assistant with Janicki Bioenergy, said the company will construct new facilities for manufacturing and office space, starting in 2016.
She said Janicki later plans to restore many existing buildings on the 225-acre campus, site of a former state mental hospital that closed in 1973. The company expects to eventually have between 500 and 1,000 workers there, she said.
Janicki has developed a machine called the OmniProcessor that looks like a small chemical plant about the size of two school buses. It dries sewage sludge, distills the extracted water and burns the solid residue as fuel. The energy produced from burning the solids is enough to run the machine and produce excess electricity, the company says.
The technology gained attention in January when Bill Gates posted a video of him drinking water from the Janicki machine.
Company founder and Chief Executive Peter Janicki said the technology “will generate significant economic opportunity for the Skagit Valley while truly changing the world for the better.”
An extensive recreation area surrounding the old hospital campus is owned by Skagit County and will not be affected by Janicki’s development plans.