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Rethink Methane: Getting Above the Crust

rethinkmethane-header-logo-logistics-850x100The “Rethink Methane: Removing the Fossil from the Fuel” conference in Sacramento hosted leading policymakers and businesses to discuss a key ingredient to a sustainable future: methane.  Historically we’ve used “prehistoric” methane created millions of years ago. It is time to shift to “contemporary” or “renewable” methane made in current-day times via the treatment of wastewater, organic waste, and other biological feedstocks.

DSC_1889 Chris Kasper at Rethink MethaneWhat we know:

  • Methane is a critical energy resource and will continue to be for the foreseeable future
  • Methane is also a powerful greenhouse gas, and reducing emissions of methane is central to any strategy to address climate protection
  • CA has recognized the importance of reducing methane emissions, and has laid out a strategy to do so in the recently published Proposed Short Lived Climate Pollutant Reduction Strategy
  • As the vast majority of the state’s methane emissions come from the decay of organic matter, in order to achieve a significant reduction in the contribution of methane to the state’s GHG inventory, these biological sources of methane need to be captured, harnessed and beneficially reused

The challenge that we face is how to, in the face of historically low fossil gas prices, develop a system of policies, programs and incentives that help address the legal and regulatory barriers that impede the development of renewable gas resources and encourage the production and consumption of this valuable energy resource in CA.

DSC_1916 Chris Kasper and Mary Nichols at Rethink MethaneThis is the purpose of Rethink Methane – to explore the impediments to harnessing renewable gas – the fugitive emissions of which have been identified as a major contributor to climate change – and to identify the actions that CA policymakers can and should take to discourage fugitive emissions, encourage beneficial reuse, encourage the substitution of renewable gas for fossil gas as much as possible, and encourage the substitution of renewable gas for fossil diesel wherever possible.

Highlight of the Day: Harvest CEO Chris Kasper introducing the “Queen of Green” and Chair of the California Air Resources Board, Mary Nichols.

 

STORMFISHER ENVIRONMENTAL ACQUIRES ANAEROBIC DIGESTER

sf_logo_cmyk                    Harvest-Print-Preferred

Date: January 12, 2016

StormFisher Contact: Pearce Fallis, 647-892-1167, pfallis@stormfisher.com
Harvest Power Contact: Meredith Sorensen, 206-569-0344, msorensen@harvestpower.com

STORMFISHER ENVIRONMENTAL ACQUIRES ANAEROBIC DIGESTER

New Investment And Strong Regional Presence Enhance Growth Potential

London, Ontario – StormFisher Environmental Ltd. today announced it has acquired the London Energy Garden, an anaerobic digester that turns organic waste from southwestern Ontario into clean, renewable energy and natural fertilizers, from Harvest Ontario Partners, Ltd.

“We are excited to invest new capital and enhance operations at the London Energy Garden,” said Chris Guillon, Vice President of StormFisher Environmental. He continued, “These developments open up even more opportunities to serve the organic waste processing needs of the region.”

The facility, which was developed by Harvest Power, Inc., turns organic materials such as food scraps, food production residuals, fats oils and grease, and other discarded organic waste from food processors, retailers and food retail outlets into clean, local electricity and natural fertilizers.

“The facility is in good hands with StormFisher Environmental,” said Chris Kasper, CEO of Harvest Power. He added, “Their team was involved in the original design of the site, so it’s fitting to see their involvement come full circle.”

StormFisher Environmental is majority owned and operated by StormFisher, Ltd, a company with deep Ontario market knowledge and biogas experience. Harvest Power is a minority owner in StormFisher Environmental.

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See PDF of announcement.

Fame and Fortune with Food Waste

Kathleen Ligocki, courtesy of Mark Arbeit with the original at http://fortune.com/2015/09/09/harvest-power-kathleen-ligocki/September 2015 has been a big month for food waste aficionados, especially for Harvest Power’s CEO Kathleen Ligocki.

First, Ligocki was featured in Fortune‘s clever article on Harvest Power. The author, Beth Kowitt, observes, “What we eat – or rather don’t eat – is the next frontier of recycling, and Harvest is in a unique position to capitalize.”

Second, Food and Wine featured Ligocki in its “Most Innovative Women in Food and Drink” list alongside Jessica Alba, Lauren Bush Lauren, and Pashon Murray. Food and Wine has drunk the koolaid, asking, “What if a cast-off burrito could help power a car?” It could! It could!

Finally, next week Ligocki will present at Fortune Brainstorm E: Where Energy, Technology and Sustainability Meet. Other presenters include Walter Robb, Whole Foods Market’s Co-CEO; Jonathan Wolfson, Solazyme’s CEO; and Richard Kauffman, New York’s Chairman of Energy and Finance.

Where will food waste headline next?

MassCEC Awards $1.1 Million for Clean Energy Projects

Massachusetts Clean Energy CenterPRESS RELEASE: Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC) CEO Alicia Barton recently announced $1.1 million in funding for three projects across Massachusetts – in Bourne, Freetown, and Hadley – that will convert organic materials into energy via anaerobic digestion technology.

“Harvest Power is excited about the potential to bring a new clean energy project to the town of Bourne,” said Kathleen Ligocki, CEO of Harvest Power. “In the spirit of true public/private partnerships, the grant from MassCEC helps attract private capital to commercialize innovative clean technologies and bring them to Massachusetts communities.”

Read the full press release.

Florida’s $6.2 billion Advanced Energy Economy

AEEAdvanced Energy Economy (AEE), a trade group representing purveyors of energy efficiency products and services, issued a report that asserts “advanced” energy industries currently account for an estimated $6.2 billion of annual revenue in Florida. View press release.

QUOTE

“Our Orlando renewable biogas facility demonstrates that we can convert tons of organic wastes that would otherwise be dumped into landfills into thousands of hours of clean energy for our communities,” said Kathleen Ligocki, CEO, Harvest Power. “This marquee project proves to municipal waste managers that they can recycle their organic wastes, transform them into valuable clean power and stabilize long term costs for their rate payers while creating new economy jobs for Floridians.”

COVERAGE

Disney World’s biogas facility: a model for converting food waste into energy

guardianGuardian Sustainable Business, “Disney World’s biogas facility: a model for converting food waste into energy,” by Marc Gunther

 

The circular economy at Disney World may not be as pretty as Cinderella’s Castle, but this process for turning organic waste into energy, which is known as anaerobic digestion, could turn out to be the best way to extract value from food scraps and treated sewage that would otherwise wind up in a landfill.

 

“We’re able to turn all of the waste stream into productive products,” says Kathleen Ligocki, the chief executive of Harvest Power, a venture capital-funded clean-tech company that built the Florida facility. “This is our goal – pumpkins to power, waste to wealth.”

Balancing Digester Diets

Biomass Mag logoBiomass Magazine,Balancing Digester Diets” by Kate Fletcher

 

About twice the size of JC-Biomethane is Harvest Power’s 50,000-ton food waste community digester near Orlando, Florida. Some waste from Disney World is brought to the facility, including the Ritz-Carlton and JW Marriott hotels at Grande Lakes Orlando.

After contaminant removal in Harvest Power Florida’s low solids AD process, “the mix tank is used to mix some of the fat, oils and grease, food waste and the other types of materials and blend them together so you don’t send slugs of one heavy material over another into the digesters,” says Brandon Moffatt, senior vice president of energy for Harvest Power. “It’s trying to have the right mix and always trying to keep that in balance, so we’re continuing to optimize our recipe and make sure we have balanced feeding to make sure the system is stable.”

Fertile Opportunity Awaits for Food Waste Processors

Forbes[1]Forbes, “Fertile Opportunity Awaits for Food Waste Processors,” by Heather Clancy.

 

Five-year-old anaerobic digestion company Harvest Power, for example, is processing more than 2 million tons of organic waste per year at its “Energy Garden” facilities, producing approximately 33 million bags of soil and mulch in the process. “In North America, over the next few years, heightened consciousness about the alternatives to dumping organics wastes in landfills will drive tremendous opportunities for companies able to recycle organic wastes into clean energy for our communities and soil enhancement products for our gardens and agricultural land,” noted CEO Kathleen Ligocki early this year.