The Plant, John Edel‘s in-the-works vertical farm (which Mike Sula first wrote about last year and I covered in my story on Plant tenants New Chicago Brewing Company) has secured grants for $1.5 million from the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity for building an anaerobic digester. The renewable energy system is intended to break down food scraps and spent grains (from brewing) and turn it into electricity and heat to power all the businesses in the Plant—including the brewery, an aquaponics growing system, and a shared kitchen and bakery—allowing it to be independent of the grid. The funds will cover about about half of the total project costs of $3 million; Edel’s company, Bubbly Dynamics, will provide matching funds and apply for tax credits. They expect to complete the project by June 2013.