A new garage-engineered generator burns the waste oil from restaurants’ deep fryers to generate electricity and hot water. Put 80 gallons of grease into the Vegawatt and its creators promise that it will generate about five kilowatts of power.
That’s about 10 percent of the total energy needs of Finz, a seafood restaurant in Dedham, Massachusetts, where the first Vegawatt is being tested. At New England electricity rates, the system offsets about $2.50 worth of electricity with each gallon of waste oil poured into it.
Vegawatt’s founder and inventor, James Peret, estimates that restaurants purchasing the $22,000 machine will save about $1,000 per month in electricity costs, for a payback time of under two years.