– Alyssa Danigelis, November 21, 2017, Energy Manager Today
UPS signed a deal this week with Environmental Energy LLC subsidiary Big Ox Energy to buy 10 million gallon equivalents of renewable natural gas annually through 2024. It’s the largest investment that UPS has made in this type of biogas.
RNG, also called biomethane or biogas, can be produced from renewable sources such as decomposing organic waste from landfills, agricultural facilities, and wastewater treatment facilities. Once produced, RNG can be distributed through natural gas pipelines, UPS says, so that it becomes available for use as liquefied natural gas (LNG) or compressed natural gas (CNG).
– by Madelyn Beck, October 28, 2016, Idaho Mountain Express
Milner Butte Landfill (Photo: Southern Idaho Solid Waste)
The Milner Butte Landfill’s gas-to-energy project is moving forward after a vote Wednesday by commissioners of counties that manage the southern Idaho facility.
The project would involve taking methane gas created by decomposing garbage and burning it for energy. The Milner Butte Landfill near Burley already captures methane and burns it off to limit the amount of the potent greenhouse gas that reaches the atmosphere, but it does not yet generate energy through the process.
– by Josh Schlossberg, The Biomass Monitor
One-quarter of renewable energy in the U.S. in 2015 came from wind (21%) and solar (6%), according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Meanwhile, 43% was from generated from bioenergy, combusting trees, crops, manure, and trash for electricity and/or heat, or converting these materials into liquid transportation fuels.
So where do the nation’s largest and most influential environmental groups stand on bioenergy, the largest source of renewables?
The Biomass Monitor contacted representatives for the following organizations (listed alphabetically) to determine their stances on biomass power and heating, liquid biofuels for transportation, and trash incineration: 350*, Center for Biological Diversity, Environmental Working Group, Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, National Wildlife Federation*, Natural Resources Defense Council, Rainforest Action Network, Sierra Club, and Stand (formerly Forest Ethics).
*350 and National Wildlife Federation representatives didn’t respond to repeated inquiries, so organizational platforms are based on information found online.
– by Sarah Jerome, August 9, 2016, Water Online
Sewage treatment plant (wastetreatmentprocess.net)
Experts say the sewage-powered car market has potential in the U.S.
“In the U.S., most hydrogen is produced from natural gas. But a 2014 study by the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory found that biogas from wastewater treatment plants, landfills, animal manure and industrial facilities could be used as a major source of hydrogen — enough to support 11 million fuel cell vehicles per year,” the Los Angeles Times recently reported.
Japan is already exploring waste-powered sustainability. The Japanese government, Mitsubishi, and Toyota have all invested in making it a reality.
– by Dawn Gagnon, May 27, 2016, Bangor Daily News
Residents and others continued to raise concerns this week about the potential harm of a proposed waste-to-energy facility.
Wednesday’s hearing was the third held so far as part of the local planning board’s review of the Municipal Review Committee and Fiberight LLC’s joint application for site plan and conditional use approval for a $69 million plant.
Concerns that the proposed facility might emit odor and lead to increased truck traffic dominated the first two sessions on April 13 and May 11. Because a decision has yet to be made, hearings will continue on June 8.
– by Dawn Gagnon, April 15, 2016, Bangor Daily News
Potential for odor and increased truck traffic were top concerns raised during a public hearing Wednesday on plans for a proposed $69 million waste-to-energy plant.
The Municipal Review Committee and its Maryland-based partner, Fiberight LLC, are proposing to build a 144,000-square-foot waste processing facility with an attached 9,800-square-foot administration building. The facility would be accessed by a new road to be built off Coldbrook Road, according to Dean Bennett, Hampden’s community development director.
– by Andy O’Brien, April 7, 2016, The Free Press
On March 31, 2018, it will no longer be economical for midcoast towns to send their household trash to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. (PERC) incinerator in Orrington. That’s the date when the facility loses a lucrative energy contract to sell its electricity at above market rates. With PERC out of the picture, two nonprofits are bitterly competing for thousands of tons of midcoast waste.
In one corner is the Municipal Review Committee, a municipal cooperative serving PERC’s 187 user communities and governed by representatives of its member towns. After determining that PERC was too expensive to continue running, the MRC developed a proposal with Maryland-based fiber-to-fuel company Fiberight and waste-to-energy giant Covanta to build a $67 million waste-to-biogas processing plant in Hampden. Fiberight claims it will be able to convert 100 percent of the organic material in the waste stream into compressed natural gas by using an anaerobic digestion process. In order to secure financing for the project, it needs a commitment from at least 80 percent of PERC’s user municipalities.
– by John Downey, March 19, 2016, Charlotte Business Journal
Duke Energy has signed agreements to buy biogas generated by swine waste, poultry waste and other biomass sources from a processing facility to be built in eastern North Carolina. Filings with the N.C. Utilities Commission say Carbon Cycle Energy, based in Boulder, Colo., will build the biogas project.
Duke (NYSE:DUK) confirms it will use what is called “directed biogas” from Carbon Cycle to produce some power at four of its plants — its Buck Combined Cycle Plant in Rowan County, Dan River Combined Cycle Plant in Rockingham County, H.F. Lee Combined Cycle Plant in Wayne County and Sutton Combined Cycle Plant near Wilmington.
The company had said Thursday that it expected to have an announcement soon on a deal involving power from swine waste. That announcement is likely to come early next week. Read more
– by Erin Voegele, February 26, 2016, Biomass Magazine
The Biomass Research and Development Board, an interagency collaboration composed of senior decision-makers from federal agencies and the White House, recently published a report, titled “Federal Activities Report on the Bioeconomy.” According to the board, the document was prepared to emphasize the significant potential for an even stronger U.S. bioeconomy through the use of biofuels, bioproducts, and biopower. It also includes information on the wide-ranging, federally funded activities that are currently helping to bolster the bioeconomy.
The report explains that board members have been planning a broad, new vision to promote the expansion of the bioeconomy since the fall of 2013. “With 1 billion tons of biomass projected to be sustainably produced and available annually by 2030, the board recognized the need to fully develop a Billion Ton Bioeconomy Vision. The Board believes that a single, coordinated multi-department vision focused on developing and implementing a plan for utilizing this biomass for these purposes will increase economic activity, decrease reliance on foreign oil, and create market-driven demand for bioenergy and bioproducts,” said the board in the report.
– by Nick McCrea, March 2, 2016, BDN Maine
Photo: Bangor Daily News/Bridget Brown
Bangor plans to send its trash to a future waste-to-energy plant in Hampden after 2018.
In a 7-2 vote Monday night, the Bangor City Council entered a municipal joinder agreement with the Municipal Review Committee, meaning the city will follow the group’s recommendation and send its waste to Fiberight, not Penobscot Energy Recovery Co. in Orrington.
“This move represents an economical and sustainable decision for our city and region,” Councilor Josh Plourde said after the vote.
The reasons for support varied. For some councilors, it was an issue of saving money over the long term. For others, it was in part due to frustration over PERC’s actions.
Councilors David Nealley and Gibran Graham were the dissenting votes. Both expressed concerns about the process and questioned whether the City Council had been given enough time to fully vet the issue.