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April 2014 News and Matters of Interest

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ACORE Releases 'Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean'

ACOREThe American Council on Renewable Energy (ACORE) has released a white paper on issues and opportunities in the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) region renewable energy markets. Common characteristics of the LAC energy market make it a natural area of focus for ACORE’s international and power generation efforts. Present energy issues in the region include high electricity prices, outdated or burgeoning infrastructure, and water and energy access concerns. The regional briefing, "Renewable Energy in Latin America and the Caribbean," has found that renewable energy has the potential to address these problems. 04/30/2014

NRCS California Launches Air Quality Chipping Initiative to Assist Growers

USDA Natural Resources Conservation ServiceThe USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) in California has announced an initiative to assist farmers in Fresno, Kings, Kern, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties with fallowed orchards and vineyards impacted by California's ongoing drought. The conservation benefits associated with this practice include controlling erosion and protecting air quality. The California Air Quality Chipping Initiative will assist agricultural producers in chipping woody debris from orchards or vineyards that are no longer being irrigated due to the extreme drought conditions. These crops are located in areas where surface water deliveries are severely curtailed or suspended and no other sources of water are available for continued irrigation. Chipping the woody debris in lieu of burning will avoid smoke emissions, reduce ozone precursors and particulate matter emissions, and reduce smoke impacts downwind. Applying the chipped debris to the fallowed orchard or vineyard land will stabilize the surface area to limit fugitive dust emissions due and will help improve soil health by increasing soil carbon, organic matter, and water retention. The wood chips may also be hauled away to a nearby composting facility or to a biomass-fueled power plant where the chips are consumed as renewable fuel for producing electricity. Farmers have until June 20, 2014 to apply, and should contact their local NRCS Service Center for more information. 04/30/2014

TEG Group's Combined AD / Composting Plant Officially Opens in London

TEG GroupThe UK Green Investment Bank (GIB) has announced that its first investment project has been completed on time, within budget and is generating power. The TEG Biogas plant located in the London Sustainable Industries Park in Dagenham was officially opened on April 23, 2014 by Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vince Cable MP. The plant is London's first commercial-scale anaerobic digestion and in-vessel composting facility. It has been constructed, and is being operated and managed, by TEG Group plc, the AIM listed green technology company which develops and operates organic composting and energy plants. The TEG Group is now providing on-going operating and maintenance services to TEG Biogas under a 15 year contract. The plant has the capacity to process up to 50,000 tonnes per annum of food and green waste to produce 1.4MW of renewable electricity, which is being sold to the National Grid. It will also produce 14,000 tonnes of compost and 36,000 tonnes of digestate each year for agricultural use. Residual heat produced by the plant will amount to 1.15MW and will be used by the plant's nearest neighbor. 04/30/2014

Due 07/01/2014: Proposals for Commercialization of Cellulosic Nanomaterials

P3NanoThe U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities has released a Request for Proposals intended to advance development of cellulosic nanomaterials. The $3MM effort is lead by the P3Nano program, a public / private partnership between the Endowment and the U.S. Forest Service Forest Products Laboratory. Approximately $3 million in funding available for collaborative research projects designed to advance the commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterial. Cellulosic nano crystals are derived from biomass; rapid commercialization has the potential to create additional demand for wood-based products and open markets for low value wood generated from forest restoration efforts. Expanding and healthy forest product markets help keep forests as forests while helping to ensure their health. Director Michael Goergen emphasized P3Nano’s over-riding objective in its first three years is to facilitate the commercialization of cellulosic nanomaterial in the United States. Interested persons and organizations should submit proposals to Michael Goergen via email <> by midnight East Coast time on July 1, 2014. 04/30/2014  

Global Bioenergies Granted Key US Patent for Bio-Butadiene Process

Global BioenergiesFrance based Global Bioenergies has announced that a patent protecting an essential step in its process to produce bio-sourced butadiene has been granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). Patent 8,703,455 results from an application filed in August 2012 by Philippe Marlière, and licensed exclusively to Global Bioenergies. Butadiene is a key petrochemical; approximately 10 million tons of butadiene are currently produced annually from oil, representing an existing market value around 15 billion dollars. Thomas Buhl, Head of Business Development for Global Bioenergies: "The competitive environment on bio-sourced butadiene incited us to request an accelerated procedure in the United States to clarify the situation. This will enable us to now look efficiently for new partners on this process." The development of a butadiene biological production process is the scope of an industrial partnership between the Polish group Synthos and Global Bioenergies. 04/29/2014

New Valmet Boiler Will Convert 50 Year Old Finnish Coal Plant to Biomass

Valmet CorporationFinland based Valmet Corporation has announced that it has been chosen by Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy (TSE) as the boiler supplier for their upcoming power plant upgrade in Naantali. The new power plant is scheduled to start up in the fall of 2017, and will replace an old coal power plant that has been operating for 50 years in Naantali, Finland. The new power plant will also enable TSE to fulfill the new IEA emissions directive, which will come into effect in the European Union at the beginning of 2016. Valmet will provide a fluidized circulating bed (CFB) boiler with steam capacity of 390 MW and flue gas cleaning equipment. The total estimated cost of TSE's power plant investment is EUR 260 million. The cost of the boiler in this kind of projects is typically one third of the total investment. Jyrki Holmala, President of the Pulp and Energy Business Line at Valmet: "The delivery will include a large-scale multi-fuel plant, which is designed to generate power by also using bio fuels at an extremely high efficiency ratio." The power plant will be able to use wood, straw, peat, coal, and Solid Recovered Fuel (RSF) produced from waste as fuels. Later on the amount of wood chips may be as high as 1.2 million solid cubic meters annually. Construction of the new power plant is scheduled to start toward the end of 2014. Once finalized, the annual production at the power plant will be 900 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity and 1,650 gigawatt hours (GWh) of heat. The electrical power of the plant will be 142 MW, and thermal power 244 MW. 04/28/2014

Thames Water Selects AECOM and Cambi for Sludge Digestion Plant Upgrade

CambiNorway based Cambi has announced that Thames Water has selected AECOM as prime contractor with Cambi as specialist sub-contractor to build an upgrade to the sludge digestion plant at Long Reach STW, in NW Kent, United Kingdom. The plant has sewage treatment design capacity for 840,000 people equivalent and digests its sludge for use in agriculture as a fertilizer. The aim of the Long Reach project is to make the site more self sufficient in energy, and to produce a lower volume of final biosolids that can meet a higher treated standard and that has superior storage qualities without building further digesters. Thames Water devised a system of primarily hydrolyzing the secondary sludge from the treatment process and feeding this in admixture to the existing digesters. Cambi's THP system will operate on waste heat from two 1MW Caterpillar engine generators that will supply the heat for the THP process that in turn will be mainly responsible for the digester heating. he THP system will comprise a second generation Cambi B6 x 3 continuous batch system that is extremely compact and that can be assembled on site in a matter of days. The system is designed to operate on steady steam consumption from the engine waste heat boilers. 04/28/2014

California Energy Commission Adopts Electric Program Investment Charge

California Energy CommissionThe California Energy Commission (CEC) adopted the Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC): Proposed 2015-2017 Triennial Investment Plan on April 22, 2014 at its regularly scheduled board meeting. The California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC)  will conduct a formal proceeding starting in May 2014 to consider this proposed plan with anticipated adoption in December 2014. The EPIC plan will continue to provide funding opportunities for clean energy innovation to turn new energy ideas into realities that will help the state achieve its energy goals in a cost-beneficial manner. The program funds electric public interest investments to benefit the electricity ratepayers of Pacific Gas and Electric Company, Southern California Edison Company and San Diego Gas & Electric Company. In Decision 12-05-037, the CPUC approved a total of $162 million annually beginning January 1, 2013, and continuing through December 31, 2020, unless otherwise ordered or adjusted in the future by the CPUC. 04/25/2014

W2 Energy's Cambridge Waste Vegetable Oil Biofuel Plant Begins Production

W2 EnergyOntario, Canada based W2 Energy, Inc has announced that the biofuel plant installation at its Cambridge facility is beginning production. Over the last month, W2 Energy tested various small batches of fuel and now are confident the plant is running well and will produce ASTM specification fuel on a consistent basis. The company will begin production on a batch basis and using cash flow from sales to ramp up production while remaining cash flow positive. Once the plant reaches a consistent production rate, W2 Energy will apply for credit lines that will allow it to move to full production and beyond. Mr. Michael McLaren, CEO: "We are very excited now to be finally here and in the biofuel business. Our current plan is to ramp up production with our system to its maximum of 7,500 liters of waste vegetable oil per day. Once we hit those targets we will expand the plant to double that capacity to 15,000 liters per day." 04/25/2014 

Placer County Approves Biomass Supply Contract for Cabin Creek Facility

Placer County, CaliforniaThe Placer County, California Board of Supervisors at its April 22, 2014 meeting approved a 10 year biomass fuel supply agreement with Tahoe Regional Power Company, LLC (TRPC) for the operation of the proposed Cabin Creek Biomass Facility (CCBF) near Truckee. TRPC is the company formed by the systems supply vendor / operator, Phoenix Energy, for the CCBF project. Brett Storey, the Resource Agency's Senior Management Analyst, confirmed that the Board had approved the agreement, and that the County will now seek agreements with contractors to procure, process, and deliver biomass from numerous project areas overseen by federal, state and local agencies. The 10 year supply agreement calls for provision of 17,000 bone dry tons (bdt) per year of source-certified excess or "waste" biomass to the CCBF at an initial delivered price of $25.00 / bdt. The Board also approved the agency’s proposed Material Terms for development of a separate 10-year purchase agreement for up to 500 tons annually of biochar, the charcoal residual, from the thermal conversion of biomass at the CCBF at an initial price of $0.35 per pound and authorized the agency to negotiate final off-take contract terms with TRPC for future Board consideration. Mr. Storey noted that the next major milestone will be approval of a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for 2 megawatts (MWe) of renewable energy with Liberty Utilities sometime this fall, and estimated that start of construction could occur in spring of 2015. TRPC is in the process of negotiating necessary loan and equity documents with its investor group that are needed to purchase the equipment, build the building, and prepare for operations. 04/24/2014

New Video Posted on UC Davis Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester

University of California, DavisA newly released video of the University of California, Davis (UC Davis) Renewable Energy Anaerobic Digester (READ) explains how their new anaerobic digester is designed to receive and process 50 tons per day / 365 days per year of organic waste. The feedstock include food waste, crop residue, animal wastes, brewery and winery, and local community wastes, half from campus and half from the community. Construction began on the READ project last fall and was it officially unveiled on Earth Day, April 22 this year. The technology was developed by Dr. Ruihong Zhang, UC Davis Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering, and built by Sacramento-based company CleanWorld. The integrated clean energy system combines the digester’s methane-rich gas with landfill gas to run state-of-the-art microturbines. Excess heat from the microturbines is also captured and converted to additional energy. The facility has 900 kWe capacity and is generating 800 kWe. Sid England, Assistant Vice Chancellor of Environmental Stewardship & Sustainability, notes that the UC Davis Digester helps the campus reduce "brown energy" usage, and says the complex is "like a seed we've planted, and already people are looking for more opportunities on campus to capture more of our organic waste stream." 04/24/2014

Due 05/20/2014: Statewide Wood Energy Team Cooperative Agreements

Due 06/03/2014: Hazardous Fuel Wood to Energy (W2E) Grant Applications

United States Forest ServiceThe USDA Forest Service has announced publishing two funding opportunity announcements (FOAs) supporting planning, acquisition, and clean conversion to energy of forest-sourced biomass from National Forest System lands. The Statewide Wood Energy Team (SWET) grant helps communities do initial planning, educational outreach, and preliminary assessments to identify promising wood energy opportunities, whereas the Hazardous Fuel Wood to Energy (W2E) grant funds the design and other preconstruction needs for specific wood energy projects. Pre-application webinars will provide information on both grants and be open for questions. The SWET webinar is scheduled for 1:00 pm eastern time, May 1, 2014, and the W2E webinar follows at 3:00 pm eastern time on the same day. For further information contact the appropriate Forest Service Regional Biomass Coordinator (see table in Federal Register notice) of contact Ed Cesa, <> or 304-487-1510 at the Wood Education and Resource Center (WERC) in Prinston, West Virginia. 04/24/2014 

CalRecycle Postpones Workshop on Thermal Conversion of Waste to Energy

CalRecycleThe California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has announced that the workshop on "Thermal Resource Recovery: A Pathway to the Highest and Best Use of Residuals" scheduled for April 29, 2014 has been postponed to time uncertain. The reason given is that background materials have not yet been finalized, and CalRecycle wants to provide stakeholders with ample notice and time to review and consider the workshop materials. The workshop will be re-scheduled for sometime in May or June, 2014. Notification will be provided through the listserv, and on the CalRecycle website when the background materials are posted and the workshop date is finalized. Contact Bonnie Cornwall for more information at  <> . 04/23/2014

Virginia City Plant Has Converted 1.1MM Tons of Waste Coal to Energy

Dominion Virginia PowerDominion Virginia Power has announced that its Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in Wise County  has converted nearly 1.1 million tons of waste coal to energy since beginning commercial operation in July 2012. The waste coal, also called "gob," is piled along miles of streams and rivers in the region. Left over from earlier coal mining, it is a source of metals and other contaminants that leach into local waterways. Gob is material, mostly rock and lower BTU coal, that mining operations discarded in the early to mid-1900s. Prior to regulations on how to handle gob, the material simply piled up, often along stream beds. Dominion selected a circulating fluidized bed technology for the station's boilers because it is able to burn a wide variety of fuels. That flexibility allows the station to select and blend fuels to obtain the cheapest fuel, saving money for the company's customers. The Virginia City power station also is designed to be able to burn up to 20 percent biomass, waste wood from timbering operations. The station began burning biomass in October of 2013 and is working toward burning up to 5 percent biomass by the summer of 2015. 04/23/2014

Whole Foods Will Convert Food Scraps to Fertilizer with WISErg Technology

WISErgWhole Foods Market Bellevue and Redmond, Washington based WISErg Corporation have announced an agreement to deploy the WISErg Harvester unit at the Whole Foods Market in Bellevue, Washington. The installation will be completed next month. The Harvester unit will enable the store to reduce food waste in a sustainable way, and provide data reports to better manage perishable inventory and improve their bottom line. Dena Hastings, Regional Green Mission Specialist for Whole Foods Market: "We can help to create a virtuous circle of food consumption and production, with nearby growers using organic fertilizer made from food scraps that originate in our store." The WISErg Harvester uses a proprietary process that converts food scraps into a nutrient-rich liquid and has a capacity of up to 4,000 pounds per day. It is powered with smart technology that includes weighing food scraps, digital image capture, and generating analytical reports which enable grocers and commercial kitchens to reduce inventory loss. 04/23/2014

Sustainable Forest Thinning Can Lower Fire Risk and Improve Forest Health

Arizona State UniversityThe Arizona branch of the Nature Conservancy and Arizona State University’s (ASU) Sustainability Solutions Services met last week with PBS Arizona Horizons to explore results of a recent in-depth analysis of how controlled forest thinning can bring new industries, reduced fire risk, and result in healthier forest to the state. The work was coordinated through ASU’s Walton Sustainability Solutions Initiative, and focused on the on-going Four Forests Restoration Initiative (4FRI). Arizona lost a quarter of its forests to wildfires, drought and bark beetle infestation between 2002 and 2011. Decreased public funding for forest thinning and the low economic value of small diameter wood has made the state’s forests especially vulnerable to devastating fires and drought. ASU and the Nature Conservancy have published a report indicating that forest thinning could return Arizona’s forests to a healthy condition, make them more resistant to environmental extremes, and strengthen rural economies at the same time. The report, “Modeling the Economic Viability of Restorative Thinning,” provides an assessment of possible wood processors and consumers, or “business clusters” if small diameter wood from northern Arizona was sustainably harvested. 04/21/2014 

Springboard to Host Webinar: Benefits of Small-Scale Biodiesel Production

Springboard BiodieselCalifornia based Springboard Biodiesel has announced a free informational webinar lasting under an hour on small-scale production for affordable clean burning biodiesel. The webinar entitled "The Many Benefits of Small-Scale Biodiesel Production" is scheduled for Tuesday, April 22, 2014 at 11:00 am PST. The webinar will strive to clearly present factual information on relevant topics including: overview of what biodiesel is and how it is made; identifying myths and popular misinformation; cost analysis for biodiesel production and usage; case studies; emissions comparisons; equipment options; and strategies for production. Springboard urges any business or institution that feeds people or prepares fried food and, consequently, has access to used cooking oil is urged to attend. Sign up online if you are interested in attending the webinar. 04/18/2014

INCBIO Delivers Fully Built 8,000 MT/yr Biodiesel Plant to North Africa

IncbioPortugal company Incbio has announced delivery of an 8,000 MT per year biodiesel plant to Biokast Energy S.A. to be installed in Tunis, Tunisia. The transesterification plant is fully built prior to shipping and requires minimal assembly on site, usually taking less than a week from arrival to start up. This minimizes installation costs and delays, and allows the company to quickly move the plant to a new location if necessary. It uses Incbio’s ultrasonic reactors to produce EN14214 Biodiesel from the used cooking oil (UCO), to be collected from restaurants in Tunis. Incbio received the order for the plant in September 2013. 04/18/2014

ABC Announces Winners of First Ever Biogas Project of the Year Awards

American Biogas CouncilAt its second annual conference last week, the American Biogas Council (ABC) announced awards in the first ever Biogas Projects of the Year in four categories: agricultural, municipal, merchant, and institutional. The  Awards Committee recognized projects that have made a significant impact on the development of the biogas industry and excelled in four areas: innovation, technology, collaboration and managing complex systems. There was a tie in the agricultural category, leading to five awards. AgriReNew in Iowa won one of the agricultural project awards for a biogas system to manage cattle manure on the Sievers Family Farms that could be replicated on farms across the US. New York's Lawnhurst Energy, LLC won the other agricultural award for the EnviTec Biogas solution to handling mixed waste: dairy cow manure, whey from a yogurt factory, and feed residues. Harvest Power's Energy Garden in Florida won the merchant project award for its anaerobic digester that converts organic waste into biogas and fertilizer while diverting waste from Central Florida landfills. The facility will process 130,000 tons of organic materials annually when it reaches full capacity. Michigan State University won the institutional award for its food waste biogas project developed by Anaergia that diverts almost 10,000 tons of organic waste from landfills. The municipal award went to the Village of Ridgewood Biogas in New Jersey for its system installed at the wastewater treatment plant. 04/18/2014 

DOE Issues Draft Loan Guarantee Solicitation for Clean Energy Projects

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced a draft loan guarantee solicitation for innovative renewable energy and energy efficiency projects located in the U.S. that avoid, reduce, or sequester greenhouse gases. When finalized, the solicitation is expected to make as much as $4 billion in loan guarantees available to help commercialize technologies that may be unable to obtain full commercial financing. While any project that meets the eligibility requirements is eligible to apply, the Department has identified five key technology areas of interest: advanced grid integration and storage; drop-in biofuels; waste-to-energy; enhancement of existing facilities; and efficiency improvements. The DOE welcomes public comment and will consider public feedback in defining the scope of the final solicitation. In addition to initiating a 30-day public comment period, a schedule of public meetings will be posted on the Department’s website. Informational materials can be found online at http://lpo.energy.gov. 04/17/2014

British Airways and Solena to Build GreenSky Plasma Waste to Jet Fuel Plant

Solena FuelsWashington DC based Solena Fuels in partnership with British Airways has committed to building the world’s first facility to convert landfill waste into jet fuel. Approximately 575,000 tonnes of post-recycled waste, normally destined for landfill or incineration, will instead be converted into 120,000 tonnes of clean burning liquid aviation fuels using Solena’s innovative integrated technology. British Airways has made a long-term commitment to purchase all 50,000 tonnes per annum of the jet fuel produced at market competitive rates. Preliminary engineering has been completed for the GreenSky London project, and it will be located in the Thames Enterprise Park, part of the site of the former Coryton oil refinery in Thurrock, Essex. The site has excellent transport links and existing fuel storage facilities. Solena has been developing the project and will be using its patented high temperature plasma gasification technology to convert the waste efficiently into synthetic gas. The gas will then be converted into liquid hydrocarbons using third party technologies which will include cleaning and conditioning of the gas, a Velocys Fischer-Tropsch conversion process, hydrocracking, and electric power production. 04/17/2014

Due 05/01/2014: Concepts to DOE for Upgrading Technologies for Biofuels

US Department of EnergyThe US Department of Energy (DOE) has announced up to $10 million in funding to advance the production of advanced biofuels, substitutes for petroleum-based feedstocks, and bioproducts made from renewable, non-food-based biomass, such as agricultural residues and woody biomass. The Doe's goal is to encourage industry to invest in the production of cost-competitive, advanced biofuels and bioproducts from renewable, abundant biomass. Funding Opportunity DE-FOA-0001085 - Biological and Chemical Upgrading for Advanced Biofuels and Products has been issued inviting applications for funding for up to 80% of the proposed project cost. Awards are expected to be between $1-3.5 million for up to 36 months. An informational webinar is scheduled for April 22, 2014 at 3:00pm ET. Concept Papers are due by May 1, 2014 and full applications are due June 13, 2014. Applicants must submit a Concept Paper by the due date to be eligible to submit a Full Application. All submissions must be made through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Exchange website. 04/17/2014 

New Zealand University Issues Open Call for Biochar Samples

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) reports that researchers at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, seek to characterize the effective heat treatment temperature for production of biochar. The University has released an open call for samples to be assayed via Raman Spectroscopy, with the contributor's only cost being for the shipment to their facility. The assay technique is described in the call for samples. Interested parties submitting small (1 to 2 gram) samples will receive a copy of the results and an estimate of the “effective heat treatment temperature” based upon the current model. Priority will be given to samples sourced from New Zealand. However, international samples will also be welcome, especially if they are well-characterized ones with scope to be used as global reference materials. This project will end in June 2014, so samples need to arrive well before this date. In other IBI news: IBI has now released its State of the Biochar Industry report to the general public at no charge. 04/16/2014

CCEMC Announces Round One Winners in Carbon Use Competition

Change and Emissions Management CorporationThe Alberta, Canada based Change and Emissions Management Corporation (CCEMC) has announced 24 winners for the first round of the $35 million international 'Grand Challenge: Innovative Carbon Uses'. The group was selected from 344 submissions from 37 countries on six continents. Many of the successful entrants convert some form of waste into fuels, chemicals and other commodities. Among the winners are Liquid Light for CO2 to fuels synthesis, Enerkem for MSW gasification and syngas catalysis, and the University of California at Riverside for hydrothermal gasification. Background on each of the is available on-line in CCEMC's Portfolio of Funded Projects. Round Two of the Grand Challenge launches in September 2015; a $10 million prize awaits the final winner in 2018 to establish a business that annually reduces greenhouse gas by one net megaton in Alberta. 04/16/2014

Turku Utilities in Finland Plan to Exchange Coal for Biomass and Waste

Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto OyThe energy consortium Turun Seudun Energiantuotanto Oy (TSE) in the Turku region of Finland has confirmed plans to replace a 50-year-old coal plant in Naantali with a multifuel facility that can be fuelled entirely by biomass and waste.Shortly after Sunday’s United Nation's (UN) climate report urging a shift from coal to renewable energy, the Turku region power authority is doing just that. It's investing more than a quarter of a billion euros in a plant that will run primarily on local wood chips. Construction is planned to begin a year from now, and the combined heat and power (CHP) plant is scheduled to come online in late 2017. Mayor of the City of Turku Aleksi Randell: "... this will safeguard both the availability of the region of Turku’s most important form of heating, district heating, and competitive production, as current production plants come to the end of their service lives." TSE’s biggest single owner is the nation’s biggest energy company, the majority state-owned Fortum Corporation, and the remainder is held by four local utilities from the Turku region. Fortum has pledged to pay at least 40 million euros of the project’s estimated price. The bulk of the biomass will be wood chips gathered within a 150-kilometre radius of the plant. The facility is expected to burn between 0.7 and 1.2 million cubic metres of chips. It will have an electrical capacity of 142 MW and a heating capacity of 244 MW. 04/16/2014 

Xergi Contracts to Supply Turnkey Biogas Plant to Méthalandes in France

XergiDenmark based Xergi A/S has announced an order from the biogas company Méthalandes to build France's largest biogas plant to date based on waste products from agriculture and the food industry. The turnkey plant will be supplied to Méthalandes in the town of Hagetmau, south of Bordeaux in south-western France. The plant will consist of 22,000 m3 primary and secondary anaerobic digesters that will produce 37.8 million kWh of electricity per year and 12,000 tons of sustainable fertilizer products per year. Once the plant is operational, it will process a total of 153,000 tons of waste biomass annually, including liquid manure from duck farming, solid cattle and poultry manure, and waste products from the food industry. Xergi CEO Jørgen Ballermann: "Xergi has developed a technology that makes it possible to achieve a high level of gas production with many different types of animal manure, organic waste and other types of feedstock at the same time." Construction will start during the first quarter of 2014, and the plant will be put into operation in 2015. 04/11/2014

GSO Invests $150MM in Rentech to Fund Growth in Wood Fibre Business

RentechLos Angeles based Rentech, Inc has announced that GSO Capital Partners LP (GSO), the credit investment arm of Blackstone, will invest $150 million in Rentech in the form of $100 million of convertible preferred stock and a $50 million term loan. Proceeds from Blackstone/GSO’s investment will fund identified growth opportunities in Rentech’s wood fibre processing business conducted by its wholly-owned subsidiary, Fulghum Fibres, Inc in Augusta, Georgia, acquired in May 2013. The plan is designed to give Rentech’s wood fibre processing business the scale necessary for a possible initial public offering as a master limited partnership. Rentech also announced a settlement with Concerned Rentech Shareholders (CRS), appointment of new Board members, and repayment of the $50 million balance on its revolving margin loan. 04/11/2014 

SENA Waste Services Wins Contract to Operate and Maintain Edmonton MRF

Suez EnvironmenementAlberta based SENA Waste Services has announced that the City of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, has awarded it a five-year contract worth up to $45 million to operate and maintain the 64,000-square-foot Materials Recovery Facility (MRF) at the Edmonton Waste Management Centre  (EWMC). The 233-hectare EWMC is North America's largest collection of modern, sustainable waste processing and research facilities. The new contract covers one of the earliest single-stream recycling plants in North America, which is capable of processing 55,000 tons per year for recycling mixed materials. The contract follows a separate five-year agreement awarded to SENA Waste Services to operate the Edmonton Composting Facility and to provide important maintenance support services for the Integrated Process and Transfer Facility and the Construction & Demolition Facility. Operating in tandem, the Composting and Materials Recovery facilities enable Edmonton to divert up to 60 percent of residential waste from the landfill. SENA Solid Waste Holdings Inc. (SENA Waste Services), an Alberta corporation, is a joint venture between SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT NORTH AMERICA and AECOM. 04/10/2014 

Ameresco Biomass Cogen Plant Uses Damaged Wood from Ice Storm

AmerescoMassachusetts based Ameresco, Inc has announced that its biomass cogeneration facility located at the US Department of Energy (DOE) Savannah River Site (SRS) in Aiken, South Carolina is utilizing storm-damaged timber as a result of the major ice storm which impacted the US southern region during February 11-13, 2014. Ameresco’s facility began receiving damaged wood the week following the winter storm in South Carolina and Georgia. Since the storm, nearly 21,000 tons of storm-related fuel wood has been purchased for the biomass plant, which represents more than 55% of total purchases during the period. Ameresco expects to continue receiving damaged timber and woody debris from the region through the summer. Ameresco has been working with local officials and collectors to utilize the damaged wood for renewable energy in lieu of its being sent to landfills. Since March 2014, the biomass cogeneration facility has received storm wood from Aiken, Allendale, and Barnwell Counties in South Carolina, and Burke and Hancock Counties in Georgia. Ameresco estimates that it will convert over 30,000 tons of storm-damaged wood into renewable power at SRS this year. The biomass cogeneration facility, which has been operational since January 2012, at the Savannah River Site provides half the necessary steam to power the DOE facility. 04/09/2014

Placer County Forest Biomass to Energy Initiative Releases New Video

Placer County, CaliforniaThe Placer County Air Pollution Control District in California has released the final version of their video on the University of California (UC) Berkeley Blodgett Forest Research Station Biomass Project. The video describes proposed multi-level public and private support for removal of forest biomass overburden and development of distributed bioenergy conversion facilities. The video and the research project are part of a larger suite of biomass energy initiatives intended to advance efforts to lower the risk of catastrophic fire, protect the watersheds, and sustainably provide renewable bioenergy. Last year, Placer County cleared the final environmental permitting hurdle in establishing the 2 megawatt Cabin Creek Bioenergy Project, located between Lake Tahoe and the City of Truckee. Similar small conversion facilities are now envisioned at the source of the biomass, scattered along the Sierra Nevada mountain range. 04/09/2014 

LEC and M Energy Partner to Restart 140MM Litre Australian Biodiesel Plant

Lignol Energy CorporationBritish Columbia based Lignol Energy Corporation (LEC) has announced signing a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with South Korea company M Energy Co, Ltd (M Energy), establishing the framework for the two companies to restart LEC’s 140 million litre per year biodiesel plant and incorporate M Energy’s proprietary pre-treatment technology. Restarting the plant in Darwin, Australia involves the completion of certain Lurgi upgrades to ensure operability as well as routine replacement and refurbishment of various components. The upgrades will be followed by implementation of M Energy’s proprietary pre-treatment package, which will allow the plant to process a range of low-cost, sustainably certified high free fatty acid waste feedstocks. Biodiesel produced from certified waste feedstocks that meet quality specifications can be sold into certain markets around the world at a premium price; especially those markets which have established mandates for environmentally sustainable fuels. The companies have been in discussions regarding an investment structure which, if successful, would provide sufficient capital for the Darwin project and an opportunity for M Energy to become an equity partner. 04/08/2014

Zayed Future Energy Prize Launches Global Outreach for Current Competition

Zayed Future Energy PrizeThe Zayed Future Energy Prize has announced a global outreach campaign to drive awareness and promote submissions for the seventh edition of awards for innovation in renewable energy and sustainability, which closes July 14, 2014. The Prize has appointed outreach partners in key geographies including the United Arab Emirates, the United States, Latin America, Europe and the United Kingdom, Africa, Asia including Japan, China, and India, as well as Australia and the Pacific Islands. The outreach is designed to engage with important stakeholders such as government agencies, members of the media, prominent individuals, corporations, and organizations in the clean energy and sustainability industries, academic institutions and high schools. This annual award celebrates achievements that reflect impact, innovation, leadership and long-term vision in renewable energy and sustainability. 04/08/2014

CRIBE Invests up to $1.5MM for Ensyn's RFO™ Biofuels Plant in Renfrew

Centre for research & Innovation in the Bio-EconomyOntario, Canada based Centre for Research & Innovation in the Bio-Economy (CRIBE) has announced making an investment of up to $1.5 Million in Ensyn Technologies’ Renfrew biofuels facility for capital improvements to increase production capacity. Capacity at the facility will be increased from approximately 3 Million litres to 13 Million litres of RFO™ heating oil annually. By enhancing its existing facility, Ensyn will have a fast-to-market option for delivery of their petroleum-replacement liquid biofuel to customers in Quebec and Northeastern United States. Ensyn’s Rapid Thermal Process (RTP) Pyrolysis technology converts forest residues, wood and other non-food, cellulosic biomass to advanced cellulosic biofuels. Ensyn’s principal product is RFO™, a liquid biofuel that is a heating fuel and is also a feedstock for refineries for the production of gasoline and diesel. The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has recently approved Ensyn’s Renfrew plant as a registered facility under the US Renewable Fuel Standards (RFS2) program.  Ensyn will now be able to produce cellulosic biofuel that will be eligible for credits under the program. This has significantly accelerated customer demand from US clients. 04/08/2014 

LanzaTech Moves to Establish Global Headquarters in Illinois

LanzaTechIllinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that LanzaTech, a company founded in New Zealand, will establish its global headquarters in Illinois. The move will generate 30 new Illinois jobs with employees transferred from New Zealand, and 35 additional employees will move from Roselle to the new site in Skokie during 2014. The new location also will serve as the company's research and development center with a new investment of more than $17 million. The new corporate headquarters, which will include proprietary synthetic biology and gas fermentation science, will be at the Illinois Science and Technology Park in Skokie, a $500 million, 23-acre bioscience campus. LanzaTech will share a 160,000 square foot facility, occupying 41,000 square feet of lab and office space. To assist with the move, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO) has approved tax credits for LanzaTech worth an estimated $1.1 million over the next 10 years. The credits against the company's state income tax liability are available under the Economic Development for a Growing Economy (EDGE) program. 04/07/2014

EC Proposes to End Support for Food Crop Based Biofuels by 2020

Institute for European Environmental PolicyThe Institute for European Environmental Policy (IEEP) has provided a synopsis of recent European Commission (EC) findings, stating that the EC has made a "bold but simple proposal" to end all policy support for food crop based biofuels. Biofuels produced from conventional agricultural crops have been found to deliver only limited reductions in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG), yet compete for limited supplies of land. The decision follows on findings of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released in the final draft from its 10th Session of Working Group II (WGII-10). The IEEP has been assessing all biofuels policy over the past 18 months in conjunction with the EC's working group efforts. The IEEP is now formally proposing an overhaul to GHG reporting protocols for biofuels, expanding sustainability criteria to include effective use of wastes and residuals, and advancing a framework supporting a spectrum of bioresources, and not just biofuels. 04/07/2014

BCBN Supports Diacarbon Energy’s Pilot Torrefaction Project with $1MM

Diacarbon EnergyBC Bioenergy Network (BCBN) has announced that it will provide $1 million in funding to Diacarbon Energy Inc (Diacarbon) to demonstrate its Torrefaction Bioreactor Technology. Diacarbon will produce a renewable and sustainable biocoal derived from wood residuals that will displace coal used by Lafarge Canada’s cement operations in British Columbia (BC). This funding by BCBN is in addition to $1.1 million from Sustainable Development Technology Canada and $7.0 million recently committed by private sector investors and other funders, resulting in a total project investment of $9.0 million. The project involves the establishment of a fully automated torrefaction facility which will process wood residuals and demonstrate the production of biomass-based solid fuels to replace coal at cement plants or coal-fired utilities. The reduction in greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions and other pollutants as a result of fuel switching from this 25,000 tons per year plant is approximately 52,500 carbon dioxide equivalent tons per year, or 10,500 diesel or gasoline fossil fueled cars off the roads in BC. 04/07/2014  

EESI Lauds White House Methane Reduction Strategy - Landfills High on List

Environmental and Energy Study InstituteThe Washington D.C. based Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI) has announced its support of the Obama Administration's "Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions" released late last month. The strategy summarizes the sources of methane emissions and outlines the areas proposed for new standards and regulations to accomplish the administration's goal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will propose new standards this summer to reduce methane emissions from new landfills and consider whether to update standards for existing landfills. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) will begin a rulemaking process this month on a program for the capture and sale, or disposal of waste coal mine methane on Federal lands. The Department of Agriculture (USDA), EPA, and Department of Energy (DOE) will jointly release a "Biogas Roadmap" in June outlining voluntary strategies to accelerate adoption of methane digesters and other cost-effective technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) from US dairy farms by 25 percent by 2020. According to the EPA AgSTAR program, there are only 239 anaerobic digesters currently operating on the roughly 2.2 million commercial farms in the US  The EPA and BLM will introduce additional standards this spring focused on the oil and gas industry designed to result in further reductions in methane emissions. 04/05/2014

2014 Clean Energy Challenge Awards Announced: Top 4 for New WtE Paths

Clean Energy TrustThe Clean Energy Trust has announced the winners of the 2014 Clean Energy Challenge business plan competition, which awarded a total of $500,000 to innovative clean energy startups. Prizes are awarded in two categories: Early Stage and Student. Illinois based EP Purification is the winner of the $100,000 Wells Fargo Early Stage Prize for ozone for wastewater purification and reclamation. Black Pine Engineering, a student-led company from Michigan State University, is the winner of the $100,000 US Department of Energy Student Challenge Prize for waste steam recovery from geothermal. The $75,000 Clean Energy Trust Consumer Favorite Prize was awarded to myPower, a student team from Northwestern University, for wasted motion, or kinetic energy, turned to power. Spero Energy of Purdue University won the $50,000 Aviation Energy Prize, presented by United Airlines, Boeing, and Honeywell UOP for a new, small, economical biorefinery process. A full list of finalists is available at the website. 04/05/2014 

EQTEC Gasified Biomass Power Plant in Bulgaria Will Use GE Technology

GE Power and Water GE Power and Water (GE) has announced that a biomass-to-energy gasification plant being built near Stroevo, in Plovdiv province, Bulgaria will be powered by GE's Jenbacher gas engine technology. The 5MW Karlovo plant is being built by EQTEC Iberia, part of Spanish holding company Ebioss Energy AD. It is the latest development in Ebioss’ strategy to apply its Integrated Biomass Gasification Cogeneration Power Plant (IBGPP) technology throughout Europe to help countries reduce their dependence on foreign energy supplies and to increase the proportion of energy from renewable sources. The plant will use three of GE’s fuel-flexible, Jenbacher engines, one J612 and two J620 units, powered by syngas derived from straw and wood chips to produce enough electricity to power 2,000 homes. Such organic waste is normally difficult to gasify effectively, but tight integration of EQTEC Iberia’s biomass-gasification technology with GE’s proven gas engines will provide high levels of emissions performance, efficiency and economy. Gasification to syngas helps to solve a waste-disposal problem by converting organic wastes into fuel. With the EQTEC Gasifier Technology, steam and hot water can be generated with no reduction in output power, so overall plant efficiency will be much higher when the plant is used for district heating or other cogeneration applications in addition to power production. The Karlovo plant is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2014. 04/04/2014

2G CENERGY Will Provide Biogas Cogeneration Plants for Ohio W2E Facility

2G CENERGYFlorida based 2G CENERGY has announced that it has been selected to supply 9.4MW modular energy conversion systems for a waste-to-energy and resource recovery facility proposed for Grove City, Ohio. Team Gemini LLC, a sustainable project design and development company based in Florida, is under contract to the Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) to build the “Gemini Synergy Center” on SWACO property in Grove City. Team Gemini will build both a waste receiving facility and a waste stream recovery plant including anaerobic digesters, which have been dubbed the ‘Center for Resource Recovery and Recycling’ (COR3), which is currently under construction. Both buildings will have a combined area of over 185,000 square feet. Initially, the plant will be able to process up to 2,000 tons per day (about 30% of the current waste stream), with plans to process the entire waste stream in the future. achieving nearly 100 percent recycling of all the waste received. After recyclable materials are recovered, which include metals and plastics, the balance of the organic waste will be preprocessed for use in anaerobic digesters. 2G CENERGY's modular 2G® biogas cogeneration system to be installed for Phase 1 is rated 5,550 kWh (5.55 MWh) and consists of three fully integrated 2G® avus® series CHP. The cogeneration system comes with ultra-low NOx and CO emissions control technology. Delivery of phase 1 is expected in late 2014, and phase 2 is following in 2015. 04/04/2014 

WADE and TXCHPI Merge to Form Cogeneration Industries Council

WADEThe World Alliance for Decentralized Energy (WADE) and the Texas Combined Heat and Power Initiative (TXCHPI) have combined to form the new Cogeneration Industries Council (CIC). As a division of WADE, the CIC will bridge the gap between commercial and industrial markets for cogeneration and cogeneration project developers, equipment suppliers, project financing organizations, service providers, and others. The new organization will serve as the leading industry organization focused on federal and state government affairs, industry-wide promotion and advocacy on behalf of the rapidly growing cogeneration power industry. The CIC’s formation coincides with the growing need for more secure and reliable distributed power generation. CIC’s central goal will be to help drive the deployment of cogeneration (also referred to as combined heat and power or “CHP”) and distributed generation across the US. 04/02/2014

Degrémont to Supply Sewage Sludge Incineration System for R2E2 Project

Suez EnvironnementFrance based SUEZ ENVIRONNEMENT has announced that its subsidiary Degrémont has been awarded a $21 million contract in the United States to design and supply a sewage sludge incineration system. As part of the R2E2 (Resource Recovery and Electrical Energy) project, the Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District in Wisconsin has selected Degrémont to design and supply a Thermylis® 2S thermal oxidation system for the disposal of sewage sludge. The Thermylis® 2S technology selected complies with new US regulations on sewage sludge-related air pollution (US EPA MACT 129), which are set to go into effect in 2016. The Thermylis® 2S sludge incineration installation uses a 2-stage process based on the principle of energy recovery and combines drying and incineration. Exhaust energy is recovered by an exchanger and used to pre-heat the fluidization air for the incinerator and to pre-dry the sludge. Thermylis® 2S is energy efficient and can treat 51 tonnes of dehydrated, digested sludge per day, provide heating, and generate electricity. 04/02/2014

First Quad-Generation Project Breaks Ground for Greenhouse Operation

Village FarmsVillage Farms International, Inc, in collaboration with Vancouver company Quadrogen Power Systems, Inc and Connecticut based FuelCell Energy, Inc has announced the first ever $7.5 million quad-generation energy project to be realized for a greenhouse operation from fuel cell technology. This project enables the commercial production of renewable heat and food grade carbon dioxide (CO2) that would benefit the Village Farms greenhouse, along with electricity and hydrogen for additional commercial markets. A ground breaking event took place today at the Company's Delta, British Columbia greenhouse to celebrate the collaboration with Quadrogen, FuelCell Energy, and the National Research Council of Canada (NRC).  This will be the most advanced greenhouse technology ever achieved using cutting edge fuel cell technology. Village Farms Development Director, Jonathan Bos: "Co-generation is a feel-good success story because it takes landfill methane gas that would have been burned on site at the landfill and instead turns a waste product into a viable heat source that is safe for people and plants. This new project is even more advanced and cutting edge as it will be the first demonstration of not only heat supply for the greenhouse but also food grade CO2 that is generated from the landfill gas via a fuel cell." The landfill gas will be cleaned by an innovative system designed and built by Quadrogen Power Systems and then used by the stationary fuel cell power plant built by FuelCell Energy to generate the multiple value streams including electricity, heat, and hydrogen.  The fuel cell utilizes a highly efficient electro-chemical process to generate power that avoids the emission of virtually any pollutants due to the absence of combustion. 04/02/2014 

IBI Publishes First State of the Biochar Industry Report for 2013

International Biochar InitiativeThe International Biochar Initiative (IBI) has announced publication of the first 2013 State of the Biochar Industry Report. This report provides a broad overview of the current state of the biochar sector and gives the expert as well as the layperson a snapshot of commercial and non-commercial biochar operations and activities. The report finds that early successes in biochar commercialization are evident in some areas and a biochar supply chain has emerged from equipment manufacturers to biochar purveyors to production and use consultants. The future success of the industry will depend on the convergence of factors relating to research, investment, policy, innovation, and public education. A four page report synopsis is available to the public, as well as the 2013 Company Database. The full report is available now to members, but will be released to the general public on April 15, 2014. 04/01/2014

Fresh Produce Distributor Signs with Harvest Power for Organics-to-Energy

Harvest PowerFlorida based Harvest Power has announced an agreement with FreshPoint Central Florida to recycle 100 percent of the fresh produce company’s local organic residuals at Harvest Power’s Energy Garden in Central Florida. The residuals include fruit and vegetable peels, strawberries tops, corn husks, and pineapple cores as examples, and are now diverted from landfills and converted through anaerobic digestion into renewable biogas and natural fertilizers. FreshPoint Central Florida contributes to the approximate 6 megawatts (MW) of combined heat and power that the Energy Garden produces, enough to power just over 2,000 homes. FreshPoint Central Florida is the latest local business to come on board Harvest Power’s “Orlando Or Landfill? Responsible Food Recovery” campaign. Harvest Power is challenging Florida businesses and consumers to join the effort to reduce pressure on landfills, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help fuel local renewable energy production. 04/01/2014

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