Vegawatt, located in Boylston, MA, provides restaurants with an on-site combined heat and power (CHP) system to use waste vegetable oil (WVO) as fuel to generate electricity and hot water for the restaurant.
Vegawatt's cogeneration technology includes a patent-pending 4-step cleaning process to transform "the darkest, nastiest used cooking oil into fuel appropriate for power generation". Mmm tasty.
The systems provide up 10-25% of a restaurant's electricity needs and at about $32,000 for a 5kW system, a restaurant will see a payback in 2-3 years.
Vegawatt also provides a leasing option where restaurants can start recycling their cooking oil and save money immediately!
Vegawatt combines the the re-use of WVO (as seen at Green Grease Monkey) and on-site waste recycling via CHP technology (as seen at Methane Harvest) to provide a fantastic closed-loop system of energy use for restaurants. The system saves money, is clean, and what I really like about these on-site systems is the elimination of transmission and distribution - which can be incredibly cost-intensive and wasteful.
With Vegawatt's system, you open the backdoor to your restaurant, pour leftover cooking oil into the refrigerator-sized unit, and voila - not only do you not have to deal with getting rid of the grimy stuff, but ... the lights go on!