I just can’t think of anything finer than to make power for our public buildings from the local dump—er, landfill---er, solid waste transfer station.

Waste to Energy News

Waste-to-Energy in Maine

Call it what you like: waste-to-energy, cogeneration, combined heat and power.  These technologies hold great potential for producing home-grown energy in Maine.  We invite Maine's experts in this field to tell us what they are working on so we can learn from their examples.

Janbacher engines in the waste-to-energy plant at Pine Tree Landfill in Hampden, Maine

The engine room at Pine Tree Landfill's Waste to Energy Plant in Hampden. Photo courtesy of Casella.

Feds Throw Lifeline to Maine’s Forest Products Industry
02/05/2017 - 7:40pm

SAPPIs Skowhegan woodyard courtesy of SAPPIOn January 18, 2017, the US Economic Development Administration announced a series of grants and initiatives aimed at breathing new life into Maine’s ailing forest products industry by helping industry leaders create a vision and roadmap for the sector. These will include forging a collaboration between Oak Ridge National Laboratory, University of Maine and the US Department of Energy, to find new opportunities for biomass energy for combined heat and power, microgrid and cutting edge research related to biofuels.

The news is welcomed by the Maine Forest Products Council and the Professional Logging Contractors of Maine as a way to carry the industry into a future of stable prosperity.

Read the full report of the Economic Development Assessment Team (EDAT).  Or, read the full story in Mainebiz.

Image credit: SAPPI’s Skowhegan woodyard courtesy of SAPPI.

MPUC Defers Decision on Net Metering Rule Changes
01/08/2017 - 1:51pm

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities CommissionOn December 19, 2016, the Maine Public Utilities Commission announced a delay in handing down a decision about a controversial set of proposed rule changes to Maine’s net metering law.

Commission Chairman Mark Vannoy was quoted as saying, ”This is an important rule and more time is needed to consider the proposed rule in light of the comments we received to ensure that the rule treats all ratepayers in a fair manner. It remains clear that changes in technology and costs of small renewable generation, particularly solar photo-voltaic, require a careful review of the current rule and potential modifications."

The 128th Maine Legislature, which has just opened it 2017 session, will also be considering changes to net metering laws.

Read more in Mainebiz and read the announcement on the MPUC website.

Photo of Mark Vannoy courtesy of the Maine Public Utilities Commission.

E2Tech Hosts its First Expo Oct. 1
09/28/2015 - 9:45pm

Environmental and Energy Technology Council of Maine E2TechThe Environmental & Energy Technology Council of Maine (E2Tech) and its partners are pleased to host the inaugural E2Tech Expo on October 1, 2015. Events include keynotes from a Fortune 50 company and a venture capital firm; its first-ever “E2Tech Talks” on Maine’s local and global food movements; a high-level plenary panel on cleantech markets, technologies, and public policies; workshops on energy policy, workforce development & career connections, sustainability in the supply chain, and cluster development and seed funding; and dozens of tables featuring environmental and energy companies, products, services, and resources.

You may see the agenda and register here.

Construction Begins on Maine's Third Anaerobic Digester
07/28/2015 - 9:00pm

Anaerobic digester drawing courtesy of Village Green VenturesVillage Green Ventures has begun construction of its $10 million anaerobic digester at Brunswick Landing. With completion projected by the end of 2015, the plant will meet roughly half of the electricity needs of the businesses at the Brunswick landing campus by converting all of Brunswick's sewage sludge, and wastes from other sources, into power.

Anaerobic digesters are also operating in Lewiston/Auburn and at Stonyvale Farm in Exeter. Read the full article in the Portland Press Herald.

Image credit: Anaerobic digester drawing courtesy of Village Green Ventures.

Bowdoin College Earns EPA Award for Energy Efficiency Efforts
07/01/2015 - 4:42pm

Solar panels atop Bowdoin's Farley Field House and Watson Arena Image courtesy of Bowdoin CollegeOn July 1, 2015, Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine was recognized by EPA with a 2015 Energy Star Combined Heat and Power (CHP) award. CHP technology produces electricity and useful heat simultaneously from a single energy source, such as natural gas, oil, or biomass. For hospital systems and universities, CHP systems can also provide reliability benefits which ensure that these facilities’ operations can continue in the event of power outages.

This award recognizes Bowdoin College for the superior efficiency of its CHP system that produces 630 kW of electricity and steam that provides space heating and hot water to 1.4 million square feet across 56 campus buildings. Bowdoin’s CHP system, designed by RMF Engineering, includes an oil or natural gas-fired boiler and a 630 kW steam turbine. With an operating efficiency of nearly 87 percent, the CHP system requires approximately 12 percent less fuel than grid-supplied electricity and conventional steam production. The system also avoids emissions of air pollutants, including an estimated 1,000 tons of carbon dioxide annually, equal to the emissions from the generation of electricity used by nearly 130 homes.

Follow links for more information about EPA’s Combined Heat and Power Partnership or on Energy Star CHP awards.

Image: Solar panels atop Bowdoin's Farley Field House and Watson Arena. Image courtesy of Bowdoin College.

Taking Energy from Waste to a New Level
08/09/2014 - 5:08pm

a Trashanol plant in Virginia courtesy of FiberightThe Municipal Review Committee, a non-profit that manages the solid waste needs of 187 communities in and around Penobscot County, is entertaining a proposal from the Maryland company, Fiberight, to extract energy and other resources from its waste.

Fiberight proposes to build a zero-sort recycling and trash-fed fuel processing and engineered fuels facility that would make ethanol or biogas (coined, "Trashanol") from the food and other organic materials in the waste stream. A similar process is being pioneered by Old Town Fuel & Fiber in Orono.

Read more in the Bangor Daily News and on the Fiberight website.

Image: a "Trashanol" plant in Virginia, courtesy of Fiberight.

CMP Withdraws Standby Fee Hike Proposal
07/11/2014 - 12:12pm

Solar Array at Thomas College by Jen BukerIn apparent reaction to vociferous opposition by renewable energy proponents, Central Maine Power Company (CMP) has withdrawn from its rate case settlement agreement a request to hike the standby fees that it charges to grid-tied ratepayers who produce their own electric power.

The Office of the Maine Public Advocate was among the many intervenors opposing the increased fees. Brunswick Landing, which is planning to generate power from anaerobic digestion of wastes onsite and Bowdoin College, which is building the state's largest solar complex, are among the beneficiaries of this move.

Read it all in the Portland Press Herald or in Mainebiz.

Brunswick Landing Welcomes Anaerobic Digester
03/21/2014 - 5:23pm

MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque and Village Green Ventures CEO Dave Weyburn shake hands after signing documents for a new anaerobic digester power plant to be built at Brunswick Landing in Maine photo courtesy of MRRAOn March 14, 2014, the Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority (MRRA) signed a ground lease agreement and power purchase agreement with Village Green Ventures, which plans to build a 1-megawatt anaerobic digestion power plant on the east side of the BXM airfield at Brunswick Landing. The plant is expected to furnish a large percentage of the collective power needs of businesses on the campus.

Read the full story on the MRRA website.  Or, read our detailed blog post on Dave Weyburn's E2Tech presentation about the system here.

Photo: MRRA Executive Director Steve Levesque and Village Green Ventures CEO Dave Weyburn shake hands; photo courtesy of MRRA.

Biomass Boiler Opening Celebrated At The Fort Kent Northern Maine Medical Center
04/22/2013 - 4:15pm

VIPs celebrate opening of Northern Maine Medical Center biomass boiler. Photo Credit: Northern Maine Medical CenterOn February 11, 2013, Northern Maine Medical Center in Fort Kent celebrated the opening of its biomass boiler, after 13 years of work to reach its goal. Funding for the boiler was provided by a $6.7 million USDA Rural Development Community Facilities Guaranteed Loan and a US Forest Service Grant of $750,000.

Read the full article in Biomass Magazine or in Bangor Daily News.

Photo Credit: Northern Maine Medical Center

Anaerobic Digestion Facility Planned at Brunswick Landing
02/20/2013 - 1:11pm

The former site of the Naval Air Station at Brunswick Maine courtesy of Midcoast Regional Redevelopment AuthorityVillage Green Ventures of New York plans to build a bacteria-based power generation facility on 2 acres on the former Brunswick Naval Air Station. The plant would use bacteria to break down septic and waste material through anaerobic digestion, then capture the methane gas and use it to power heating and electrical equipment for other Brunswick Landing tenants.

Read the whole story in the Times Record from BDN Maine.

Photo credit: Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority