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Santee Cooper board contracts for 3.2 MWs renewable energy Contracts with W2E-Organic Power, BioEnergy power 1,600 homes
Published Monday, May 23, 2011 4:27 PM
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – The Santee Cooper Board of Directors approved contracts today with W2E-Organic Power and BioEnergy Technologies for a total 3.2 megawatts of electricity generated from anaerobic digestion of renewable resources. That is enough electricity to power about 1,600 homes.

W2E–Organic Power, based in Columbia, has received its state environmental permit and plans to build a 1.6-MW generating station in Columbia that will utilize biogas from food waste, grease and yard waste. W2E–Organic Power plans to transmit the electricity to Santee Cooper’s transmission grid.

Sumter-based BioEnergy Technologies will utilize pre-consumer food waste, grease, food processing waste and wastewater sludge to generate 1.6 MWs of renewable electricity at a facility planned for Berkeley County. BioEnergy Technologies will deliver the electricity to Santee Cooper through Berkeley Electric Cooperative’s distribution system.

“Santee Cooper is pleased to announce these contracts with South Carolina businesses, which will generate home-grown and renewable electricity for our customers,” said Marc Tye, the utility’s senior vice president of customer service. “Santee Cooper continues to look for practical projects like these as part of our balanced plan to meet South Carolina’s energy needs with electricity that is reliable, affordable and environmentally protective.”

“Being at the forefront of the organic waste-to-energy movement has certainly been challenging at times,” says CEO Daniel Rickenmann, “But thanks to commitments from folks like McEntire Produce, Pascon Recycling, and Dorado Services and the tireless support of our technology partner EISENMANN Corporation, the W2E-Organic Power waste-to-energy facility in Columbia will soon set the standard for sustainable recycling of organic material in the U.S.”

“BioEnergy Technologies’ vision of producing sustainable, green electricity and transportation fuels will now be realized.  Not only will our projects benefit the environment, but they will also spur economic activity and generate jobs for South Carolina. We appreciate Santee Cooper’s commitment to us as we move forward on our biogas plant,” said Greg A. Thompson, CEO of BioEnergy Technologies.

Both contracts are for 20 years and together take Santee Cooper’s total renewable generation to 187 MWs online or under contract, utilizing landfill biogas, solar energy, wind energy, woody biomass and anaerobic digestion. The biggest source is forest waste and other woody biomass, with online and contracted generation totaling 154 MWs. Anaerobic digestion captures methane gas that is produced through the decomposition of organic materials in an airtight container, and uses that methane gas to generate electricity.

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s leader in renewable generation and has been producing Santee Cooper Green Power – a 28-MW portion of its renewable portfolio that is certified according to strict national standards – since September 2001. Certified Green Power is then voluntarily purchased by customers of Santee Cooper and the state’s electric cooperatives at a premium price, with the proceeds fully reinvested in new renewable energy projects.

With state permitting accomplished, W2E–Organic Power could begin delivering power to Santee Cooper within a year. BioEnergy Technologies will begin the permitting process soon and expects to deliver power to Santee Cooper in late 2012.

W2E-Organic Power, LLC is a Columbia, South Carolina-based developer of sustainable renewable energy projects utilizing EISENMANN Corporation’s proven High Solids Anaerobic Digestion (HSAD) technology. In addition to its flagship facility in Columbia, W2E is actively developing six additional projects throughout the Mid-Atlantic, Southeast and Gulf Coast regions. Each of these projects is at a different stage of permitting and development.

BioEnergy Technologies, LLC, established by Thompson Construction Group of Sumter, SC, deploys proven European biogas technologies to develop, design, build, own and operate biogas systems throughout the US.  Through its partnership with AAT Biogas of Austria, BioEnergy has combined Thompson Construction Group’s design-build experience with AAT’s 30 year track record of biogas system design. For more information, visit www.bioenergyglobal.com.     

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s state-owned electric and water utility, and the state’s largest power producer. The ultimate source of electricity for 2 million South Carolinians, Santee Cooper is dedicated to being the state’s leading resource for improving the quality of life for the people of South Carolina. For more information, visit www.santeecooper.com.

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