New CEO For Harvest Power

Posted by Lee Drever on Jan 10, 2014 10:18:00 AM

Organic Waste Conversion
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Harvest Power is a leader in the North American organics-to-energy industry.

Kathleen Ligocki to lead as new CEO; 
Paul Sellew to shift to Founder, Executive Chair of Board

WALTHAM, Mass - Harvest Power, a North American developer of organics-to-energy plants and compost production facilities, will have a new CEO as of January 13.

Kathleen Ligocki, an operating partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers (early investors in Harvest Power), will take over for founding CEO, Paul Sellew. The founder will remain with the company, shifting to Executive Chair of the Board.

Kathleen Ligocki - Harvest Power CEO
Kathleen Ligocki takes the helm next week.

This announcement, said Sellew, comes at an important juncture for Harvest Power. “The directors and I determined that we need to invest in and increase the leadership capacity of the organization so that we can successfully navigate the next phase of our growth plan,” said Sellew, “Kathleen Ligocki brings the right combination of bold strategic insight, broad operational expertise across a number of industry sectors and financial acumen that will propel Harvest to the next level.”

Harvest Power, according to Ligocki, is already poised for some significant growth, “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.”

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Founded in 2008, Harvest Power

  • employs more than 600 people at nearly 40 sites;  
  • has built and operates three anaerobic digesters; 
  • processes over 2 million tons of organic wastes per year; 
  • sells 33 million bags of soil and mulches through 1200 locations across North America


About Harvest Power

Harvest creates a more sustainable future by helping communities better manage and beneficially re-use their organic waste through the production of renewable energy and soils, mulches and natural fertilizers.

Harvest’s vision is to find the highest and best use for the 500 million tons of organic materials produced in North America each year. The company operates organics facilities in the Mid-Atlantic and West Coast of the U.S., and in Ontario and British Columbia, Canada.

Harvest has grown rapidly since its founding in 2008 and has garnered awards for its business of energy generation and soil revitalization. The company has been named to the Global Cleantech 100 four years in a row and received Bloomberg’s 2013 New Energy Pioneer Award. 



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Topics: Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Waste, Harvest Power

Making an 'Impact' with Bioenergy

Posted by Lee Drever on Oct 4, 2013 9:49:00 AM

Impact Bioenergy AD Facility
 Facility rendering of an Impact Bioenergy anaerobic digestion system.

Industry Profile: 
JAN ALLEN, Impact Bioenergy  

Jan Allen, Impact Bioenergy

Jan Allen has been involved in design, construction, and operation of organics facilities since 1989, at Cedar Grove Composting, CH2M HILL, Concept Kinetics, and Harvest Power.

Jan is president of IMPACT BIOENERGY. Formed this year, they intend to empower communities with the best bio-conversion technologies and services available to recycle organic materials into renewable energy and soil products.

He sat down with Octaform this week to talk anaerobic digestion and some of the hurdles it faces in North America.


How did you get into biogas?

My first experience was at Purdue University – we were allowed to do an undergraduate thesis – I chose methane potential via pig waste biogas. My second experience was designing mechanical piping for wastewater digesters. The concept has always been at the forefront of my engineering ideas but it has not always been economically feasible.

The economics have shifted into a much more favorable position. This is partly due to rising costs for alternatives like long distance disposal or recycling at distant composting facilities. It is also partly due to more domestic technology choices that don’t have to be imported from Europe.


A growing number of organizations and cities are aiming for zero waste as a goal. How does anaerobic digestion help accomplish this?

Anaerobic digestion is ideally suited to wet, high-calorie food wastes. These are precisely the same feedstocks that cause operational challenges for composting operations – too much water, not enough pore space, and too much oxygen demand at the beginning of the process. So for multifamily organics and commercial organics especially anaerobic digestion can extract energy and reduce the odour potential of the remaining digestate that goes to composting. College campuses are a great case study in both zero waste and self-generation of energy.

Many campuses and communities have taken the bolder step to both move past 50% diversion and to develop micro-grid power stations on-campus. Even if recycling goals are achieved they don’t account for the environmental impact of exporting waste. Today there are opportunities to avoid the fuel use for hauling and offsite disposal of these materials by creating energy locally from waste streams that would otherwise be wasted.

Converting organic materials into energy and soil on-campus is not only possible, it is more cost-effective and sustainable. With much of the district power and heating infrastructure built into their initial construction, college campuses across North America are moving to micro grid power systems. 

For example UC San Diego's 42-megawatt micro grid has a master controller and optimization system and uses different generator sources - photovoltaic solar panels, fuel cells, and natural gas generators - that enable it to cover more than 90 percent of the power requirement at the 1,200-acre campus. The micro grid saves the university some $800,000 a month in energy costs.

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Compared to Europe, North America has been slow to adopt biogas as a means of energy generation. What factors are holding back growth in North America?

In North America we generally operate on a market-driven system where lowest cost is overwhelmingly the decision criteria. In Europe the decision criteria was more about EU directives to reduce landfilling and produce renewable energy. These were policies adopted by counties and the European Union.

Renewable energy is tariff-driven in Europe where biomethane power is worth three times as much per kWh ($0.20/kWh in EU vs. $0.07/kWh in US). There are a number of variations on this concept including low-technology need for cooking and lighting fuel - used mainly Asia, India, and Africa; and environmental-control used mainly in North America for wastewater facilities.

The good news is that the supply chain and design/build industry for biogas is starting to grow in North America. That will drive down capital cost. We are still struggling with weak central policy and low energy tariffs but those may be the next barriers to address.


What areas of North America do you foresee growing in AD?

Those areas where there are high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices.


Over the last decade, Cow Power programs in Vermont and BC have attempted to help biogas become economically feasible. Do you believe that AD in North America can be feasible without subsidies or programs?

Yes if the current economics show high waste disposal costs or high electricity prices. It is really site-specific so each project has a unique economic situation. We created two self-evaluation models to help customers evaluate their specific economics (see here). In these tools there is a ‘project specifics’ tab to help collect the data to make a wise decision.


What services does Impact Bioenergy provide? How is Impact Bioenergy different from other firms involved in biogas?

IMPACT BIOENERGY was launched in Seattle in July 2013. We have created a unique business model focused on selling small-scale organic waste energy waste solutions to communities of 5,000 to 50,000 people for the production of renewable energy and valuable, carbon-rich by-products. Our products are pre-fabricated, modular, quickly deployed, and here in Pacific Northwest.

The centerpiece of our game-changing business model is the IMPACT BIOENERGY TECHNOLOGY SUITE: three separate but complementary organics recycling technology modules designed to operate independently or together. 


• Biomethane production via anaerobic digestion (AD)
• Soil and heat production via composting
• Charcoal, biochar, syngas, and heat production via gasification

The trends and convergence of the global issues we can address underscores the relevancy and timeliness of this offering. Every day, each resident in campus and urban area sends two pounds of valuable organic material to disposal.

IMPACT BIOENERGY is different than other technology providers because it focuses on small scale, standardized, simple, pre-fabricated assemblies to drive down the capital cost of renewable energy systems. Delivery and installation can be accomplished in about 6 months vs. typical concept-to-startup development cycles that require 2-4 years in the industry today. Operating costs are low with near zero inputs of chemicals and consumable materials.

The ultimate success of Impact Bioenergy’s plan lies in our ability to deliver systems that will create “communities” from our customers who enjoy information sharing in the areas of purchasing, operations, and marketing.

Impact Bioenergy

have professionals located on the West Coast and East Coast, and in the United States and Canada. The corporate home town is Seattle, Washington

Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Industry Profile, Bioenergy

Vermont Utility Expands Biogas Program

Posted by Thomas Belsheim on May 10, 2013 9:43:00 AM


Green Mountain Power's Cow Power Program creates cost incentives for farmers to turn livestock waste into renewable energy through anaerobic digestion. A new ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board will expand this program from a limited territory to Green Mountain's entire service territory.  

Green Mountain Power customers across Vermont can now support a pure Vermont form of renewable energy produced by over 10,000 Vermont dairy cows, thanks to a new ruling by the Vermont Public Service Board approving the expansion of the GMP Cow Power Program from the limited territory previously served by CVPS to the entire GMP service territory.

Cow Power was first offered to customers in 2004, as a way to offer new, local renewable energy choices. The GMP Cow Power program currently includes 12 farms, and generates 16 million kilowatthours per year -- enough to completely power 2,200 average Vermont homes.

"We are so excited to be able to offer GMP Cow Power to 90,000 additional Green Mountain Power customers," said Mary Powell, CEO of Green Mountain Power. "This program has so many benefits for farms, for the environment, and for Vermont as a whole. The expansion of this program is one more way that we can increase renewable power in Vermont."

To produce Cow Power, farmers feed cow manure into an on-site anaerobic digester. Naturally occurring microbes in the digester convert the waste into several useful byproducts, one of which is methane gas. The methane fuels an engine which drives an electric generator. Heat generated from this process is repurposed to keep the digester warm, and can offset fuel purchases on the farm for hot water and space heating. The energy generated is fed into the GMP electrical system for distribution to customers. 

The coarse plant fibers left over are processed through a mechanical separator. These odorless solids can be used to replace sawdust or sand as bedding for the animals. Solids not used for bedding may be further processed and sold as a garden soil. The liquid portion is an enhanced fertilizer used to grow crops to feed the cows.

Matt Maxwell is a farmer at Maxwell's Neighborhood Farm in Coventry, VT, which has been producing Cow Power since 2008. "We joined the program because milk prices were so low, and we were looking for a separate, steady income stream," he said. "It's been great for us. There's the income from the sale of electricity. We're using the dry by-product as bedding for our 750 dairy cows, and we have excess to sell to other farmers and landscapers. With excess heat from the engine we've been able to heat a 2,600 square foot greenhouse where we raise broccoli and greens for the wholesale market all winter, and tomatoes and peppers in the summer. We also heat our machine shop with the excess heat, which means we buy way less heating oil. When people pay a little extra to buy GMP Cow Power, they are helping the environment, and they are helping Vermont farmers stay in business."

Green Mountain Power customers can choose to buy 25%, 50%, or 100% of their energy from Cow Power, and pay an extra four cents per kilowatt hour premium. If an average Vermont household using 600 kwh a month decided to get 25% of their energy from GMP Cow Power, they would pay an extra $6 per month.

A similar program has been launched in British Columiba, Canada. The B.C. Agricultural Research and Development Coproration (ADRCorp) has created a program under which B.C.'s electricity consumers have the option to buy thier electricty from on-farm A.D. systems. The program, inspired by the Vermont initaitive, provides local renewable energy to B.C., while lowering carbon footprints. 

The programs in Vermont and British Columbia are postive signs for biogas in North America. However, the industry faces signficant challenges. One such challenge is finacial risk.  For example, under Cowpower Vermont, after grants, the farm still has to pay for more than half the cost of an average $2 million dollar digester project, which would usually be amortized over a 10-year period. Gross income from biogas energy for a 1000-head farm averages only $300,000 a year, about 7.5 percent of a dairy’s total gross revenue. Given that the life expectancy of a given system runs roughly only 20 years, invesment in Biogas is still a risky proposition.

While current North American industry is largely dependant on subsidies, innovation aims to change this. New technology including the growth and sale of biogas byproducts, increases profitability by adding additional revenue streams. Also, new and innovative tank building methods help expand the lifecyle of each project, bolsterring profitability. Governemnt and not-for-profit subsidies combined with technological advancements could hold the key to creating a more viable biogas market in North America. 

Interested in learning more about Anaerobic Digestion? Download "AD-101": 


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Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas, Cowpower, Waste, American Biogas Council

New Biogas Technology Aims to Make Digesters More Profitable

Posted by Lee Drever on Apr 5, 2013 3:27:00 PM

A Wisconsin biogas facility is about to get into another green business: algae. 

Canadian company, Solutions4CO2 has just inked a deal to bring its proprietary Integrated Biogas Refinery (IBR) system to Vir-Clar Farm Power's already operational biogas facility in Wisconsin. The new system promises to increase the concentration of methane output while adding a new potential revenue stream to the mix: algae.

With slow returns and a tough regulatory climate, biogas has fought an uphill battle in North America. “Solutions4CO2 provides AD developers with real solutions to these economic and environmental challenges,” said Douglas Kemp-Welch, S4CO2’s Chief Executive Officer. 

Intergrated Biogas Refinery

Integrated Biogas Refinery by Solutions4CO2 Inc.

The process of anaerobic digestion traditionally produces gas containing roughly 60% methane, 39% Carbon dioxide (CO2) and 1% hydrogen sulfide (H2S). Solutions4CO2's Integrated Biogas Refinery separates CO2 and H2S from methane by dissolving it into solid form, benefitting the system in two ways.  First, it allows for a more concentrated methane stream, resulting in increased power generation. Second, the newly separated CO2 and H2S are used to produce algae biomass, whose by-products are sold on the open market. 

Algae's future as a biofuel may still be up in the air but as many producers already know, there is a growing market for its nutraceutical and pharmaceutical co-products. If all goes as expected, this increased efficiency coupled with the new revenue will cut average new project payback times by more than half.

Solutions4CO2 Inc. (S4CO2) is a Canadian company that develops innovative Waste to High Value Co-Product solutions for waste gas, water and biomass streams. 

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Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Algae

UK AD & Biogas 2012 Annual Conference brings AD to the spotlight

Posted by Christina Florencio on Jun 21, 2012 11:41:00 AM

Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas

The Anaerobic Digestion and Biogas Association (ADBA) has been established to represent all businesses involved in the anaerobic digestion and biogas industries, to help remove the barriers they face and to support its members to grow their businesses. Its principal aim is to enable and facilitate the development of a mature anaerobic digestion industry in the UK within 10 years.

The ADBA third annual trade show and conference, UK AD & Biogas 2012 will focus specifically on demonstrating where anaerobic digestion can offer the best benefits to local authorities, and the food and farming industries. 

Showcasing why AD is the missing link to achieving maximum waste and resource management, climate-smart farming and sustainable food production, this event will not only show how beneficial the integration of AD can be but how it can be most successfully achieved.

The city of Birmingham will be hosting the 2 Day Conference on July 4-5 and will have 22 free seminars, professional AD clinics (legal, finance, farming), 200 Exhibitors and an expected 3000 visitors.  

Octaform is a member of the ADBA and will be one of the exhibitors at the conference. Come visit us at Booth C31!

Register now. We hope to see you there!


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Topics: Farmers, Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas, Waste, Octaform

AgStar To Provide More Funding For US Biogas Projects

Posted by Lee Drever on May 8, 2012 12:53:00 PM

WASHINGTON – With the help of $3.9 million from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Department of Agriculture (USDA), AgStar plans to increase its efforts to bring methane recovery to US farms.

On-Farm Anaerobic DigesterAgStar's commitment will help construct more on-farm anaerobic digesters like this one built by CCS-agriKomp, helping farmers generate energy while managing waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
AgStar Biogas Funding

Expanding the work of AgStar, a joint EPA-USDA program, this new interagency agreement will promote renewable energy generation and slash greenhouse gas emissions from livestock operations for at least the next 5 years. 

“We want to seize every opportunity to confront climate change and move into the clean economy of the future. This is a smart way to transform what would be a harmful greenhouse pollutant into a source of renewable energy -- and make a profit for American farmers,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We have the technology and the expertise, all we need now is to act. The AgStar program brings real benefits to our air and creates new opportunities for our farming community.”

“The farms and ranches that dot our countryside can contribute greatly to addressing America’s long-term energy challenges and the partnership we are announcing today will not only help generate renewable energy, but provide new income opportunities for farmers and ranchers,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

AD101 Biogas Guide

The EPA and USDA’s committment will provide up to $3.9 million over the next five years to help farms overcome obstacles preventing them from recovering and using biogas. The collaboration will expand technical assistance efforts, improve technical standards and guidance for the construction and evaluation of biogas recovery systems, and expand outreach to livestock producers and assist them with pre-feasibility studies.

Biogas is composed primarily of methane, a greenhouse gas 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Biogas emitted from manure management systems called digesters can be collected and used to produce electricity, heat or hot water. Due in large part to AgStar’s efforts, about 150 on-farm manure digesters are now operating at livestock facilities across the U.S. In addition, EPA estimates there are about 8,000 farms across the United States that are good candidates for capturing and using biogas. If all 8,000 farms implemented biogas systems, methane emissions would be reduced by more than 34 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent a year, roughly equal to the annual emissions from 6.5 million passenger vehicles. In addition, these projects could generate more than 1,500 megawatts of renewable energy.

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Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas, USDA, AgStar, EPA

CH4 Biogas Project to Help Reduce Dairy’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Posted by Lee Drever on May 1, 2012 11:58:00 AM

Synergy Biogas New York

New York’s Largest On-Farm Biogas Project Generates Renewable Energy for Nearly 1,000 Homes

COVINGTON, N.Y.- U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) joined state and local officials today at the grand opening of New York state’s largest on-farm, ‘co-digestion’ biogas power project, marking an important boost to the state’s renewable energy production and sustainability efforts. The facility is located at Synergy Dairy, a 2,000-head dairy farm in Covington, Wyoming County, southwest of Rochester.

By anaerobically digesting waste from local food processors in addition to the dairy’s cow manure, the 425 ton per day, mixed-waste facility is more cost-effective. The facility has created about a half dozen jobs while enhancing the efficiency of the 30-employee farm’s operations and sustaining area food manufacturers and haulers.CH4 Biogas LLC built, owns and operates the project under the name Synergy Biogas LLC. The Synergy Biogas LLC plant also is the state’s first biogas project specifically designed for the co-digestion, or processing, of animal and food wastes. The biogas created in the 120,000-gallon co-digester is fueling a GE Jenbacher J420 biogas engine to generate 1.4 megawatts (MW) of renewable electricity.

Free Biogas E-Book The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) is providing $1 million in incentives for the facility.

“This Synergy co-digestion biogas project is the cutting edge of energy technology and is an absolute revenue-producing game changer for our dairies and local economies. By recycling agricultural waste in biogas plants, dairies can reduces disposal costs, produce affordable renewable energy to run their operations and gain a revenue source by selling excess power to the grid. I’ve been proud to help keep this project on track to ensure it crossed the finish line,” said Senator Schumer, whose office helped coordinate federal and local funding for the project.

Schumer’s office also worked with the Wyoming County Industrial Development Agency to help Synergy Biogas LLC complete the facility and partner with Cornell University and Rochester Institute of Technology to evaluate the project’s performance.

The project is expected to reduce the dairy farm’s baselood greenhouse gas emissions by about 8,500 tons of CO2 annually, which is equivalent to the CO2 emissions of 1,700 automobiles. The facility also will produce an estimated 17,500 cubic yards of bedding material for livestock while reducing manure odors and helping the farm manage nutrients applied to cropland.

Through its partnerships with local food manufacturers, Synergy Biogas LLC already has diverted more than 1.14 million gallons of food waste from landfills and wastewater treatment facilities, highlighting another environmental benefit of the project.

“We are excited to launch our new co-digestion biogas project that will optimize the recycling of agricultural biomass waste into a valuable renewable energy resource to help reduce our operational costs,” said John Noble, president and CEO of Synergy Dairy.

National Grid is supporting the project as part of its broader strategy to help upgrade New York state’s energy infrastructure, promote further economic growth in the region and encourage the development of renewable energy resources. Under its renewable energy marketing program, the utility is purchasing the electricity generated by the biogas plant, which it states will produce approximately 10,000 megawatt-hours of renewable energy per year—enough electricity to power nearly 1,000 homes. National Grid provided a $750,000 grant through the company’s Renewable Energy and Economic Development Program to cover the cost of building the substation that connects the facility to the grid.

Outlook Promising for More N.Y. Dairy Farm Digester Projects

The Synergy Biogas LLC operation is the first of several N.Y. dairy farm digester projects that CH4 Biogas and GE Energy plan to build. Such projects illustrate how the state’s food and beverage industries can utilize their on-site waste streams to produce free fuel for power generation.

According to the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets, in 2011 the state had 5,300 dairy farms with more than 600,000 dairy cows. However, less than 20,000 of those cows were being utilized in energy production, through the use of 17 digesters that produce a combined 3 MW. As of 2011, an additional 17 digester systems were awaiting installation to generate a combined 6 MW.

The Synergy project illustrates how incentives offered by NYSERDA are supporting the purchase, installation and operation of more anaerobic digester gas-to-energy systems to help the state create a more sustainable agricultural sector.

In addition to NYSERDA and National Grid‘s respective financial support, the Synergy Biogas LLC project also qualified for a 30 percent investment tax credit (ITC) under the federal Energy Policy Act of 2005. As part of the 2009 federal stimulus initiative, the U.S. Treasury will pay this tax credit as an ITC cash grant for qualifying projects that began construction before the end of 2011.

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Topics: Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Dairy, CHFour, Synergy Biogas, Renewable Energy, Co-Digestion, NYSERDA, National Grid

Obama's Support of Biogas Gets Thumbs-Up From Advocates

Posted by Lee Drever on Apr 27, 2012 12:41:00 PM

WASHINGTON— The American Biogas Council is pleased with the Obama Administration for connecting biogas to its "all-of-the-above" approach to America’s energy challenges. Agriculture Secretary, Tom Vilsack announced just last week, a $5 million payment from his agency to support the construction of a new biogas system at a cattle farm in Oakley, KS. 

Dairy Cattle Are A Source of Methane
 Manure from dairy cattle is largely an untapped source of renewable energy in the United States.

The completed project will replace almost 90 percent of the fossil fuels currently used by the farm and is expected to create 15 full-time positions and almost 100 additional construction opportunities.

In announcing the grant, Secretary Vilsack underscored the role biogas plays in meeting renewable electricity and gas needs. Biogas systems produce a continuous stream of methane-rich gas that can be used for baseload renewable electricity and as a renewable substitute for natural gas. “Projects such as this are a key part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above approach to American energy that is supporting the development and usage of renewable energy, revitalizing rural economies and creating an America built to last,” said

Biogas System
CCS-agriKomp's brand-new anaerobic digester connected to Ontario's electric grid in April of this year.

Biogas systems utilize mature technology that has been used for decades in a small part of a niche sector: wastewater treatment. However, biogas plants have much wider rural and urban applications anywhere there is organic waste, such as food scraps, restaurant greases, farm waste, wastewater sludge and more.

“The biogas market is essentially untapped in the U.S., which presents a huge opportunity for American businesses to turn garbage into green energy using a contained, natural, biological process,” said Patrick Serfass, Executive Director of the American Biogas Council. 

The American Biogas Council has identified 2,200 operational biogas projects and over 12,000 potential sites yet to be developed in the wastewater (3,300), agriculture (8,200), landfill (500) and industrial and commercial sectors. Biogas could replace 10% of America’s electricity needs with renewable, 24-7 power.

“We thank President Obama, his Administration and especially Secretary Vilsack for recognizing the valuable opportunity we have to build our economy by building systems that turn organic waste into versatile, reliable renewable energy,” said Paul Greene, Chairman of the Board for the American Biogas Council. “This announcement has been a key ingredient in the recipe we’re using to accelerate the U.S. biogas industry. The project exemplifies the combination of factors needed: public awareness, willing investors, community support and an open mind to approaches for waste management. ”

The grant was made under USDA Rural Development’s Repowering Assistance Program. The American Biogas Council urges Congress to reauthorize and fund these important energy programs in the next Farm Bill.

The non-profit American Biogas Council represents 150 companies (including Octaform) dedicated to maximizing the production and use of biogas from organic waste. Members include anaerobic digester developers/builders, engine and turbine manufacturers, farmers, wastewater utilities, landfill operators, engineering and law firms, financiers, non profits, universities and the entire biogas supply chain.


Members of the Senate Agriculture Committee just voted to provide $800 million in mandatory funding for the Energy Title of the 2012 Farm Bill proposal. Before voting to approve the bill, the committee approved an amendment offered by Senators Kent Conrad (D-ND) and Richard Lugar (R-IN) to provide mandatory funding over five years to energy programs that promote renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in rural America.

Farm Bill Energy Title programs leverage billions of dollars in private investment. In 2011 various USDA programs helped develop over 60 dairy-based biogas systems, using anaerobic digesters. Last year the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) alone provided nearly $21 million in assistance for biogas systems which leveraged over $110 million in project development. Farm energy projects, like biogas systems, promote agricultural economic resiliency by providing additional revenue streams and by mitigating the costs of fluctuating energy prices and waste disposal. Biogas systems use a natural process to produce a continuous stream of methane rich gas that can be used for baseload renewable electricity and as a renewable substitute for natural gas.

ABC Executive Director Patrick Serfass said, “We commend the efforts of Senators Conrad and Lugar and of the numerous co-sponsors for ensuring funding for these crucial farm energy programs. While the continued funding of these farm energy programs is far from guaranteed at this point in the legislative process, the Senate Agriculture Committee’s vote was an encouraging show of support for farm energy programs that foster new agricultural markets and support rural economic self-sufficiency. We appreciate Chairwoman Stabenow’s and Ranking Member Roberts’s leadership in moving forward with the reauthorization of these important programs.”

See: www.americanbiogascouncil.org 

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Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Water and Wastewater, American Biogas Council

Biocycle West Coast Conference 2012

Posted by Christina Florencio on Mar 27, 2012 11:36:00 AM

BioCycle Conference

Organized by the editors of BioCycle magazine, BioCycle Conferences incorporate waste management into real world issues. Issues addressed range from topics on energy independence, sustainability, climate change, soil and water protection, jobs, and more.

The Annual BioCycle Conference, a four-day event from April 16-19, 2012 in Portland, Oregon is taking place at the Red Lion Hotel on the River.

This year's Conference sessions includes over 90 sessions and the tradeshow exhibition will be featuring more than 65 exhibitors, including Octaform Systems, (scheduled on April 17 and 18). On April 19th, there will be all day site tours of 3 Digester Sites:

  1. Metro's Central Solid Waste Transfer Station, operated by Recology Oregon Recovery, Inc. which receives source separated food waste and other organics from commercial and residential routes.

  2. Pacific Region Compost (PRC), owned by Republic Industries,s the first facility in Oregon permitted to accept food waste for composting.

  3. Lochmead Farms, Inc. near Junction City, is a multifaceted agricultural operation that includes a dairy farm, ice cream and milk production facilities, a chain of retail stores and most recently, an anaerobic digester. 

In addition, the American Biogas Council will be hosting one of two Pre-Conference workshops (Monday, April 16) that will discuss the Business Of Anaerobic Digestion from Financing, Siting, Biogas Markets, Project Evaluation.  

Registration is still open to attendees. Octaform will be participating as an Exhibitor and a Pre-Conference speaker.  We hope to see you there!

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Topics: Anaerobic Digestion, Biogas, American Biogas Council, Biocycle

Cowpower officially launches in BC

Posted by Christina Florencio on Feb 6, 2012 8:51:00 AM

Cow Power BCPhoto: publicenergy

CANADA- On January 27th, Cowpower was launched at the 2012 Pacific Agriculture Show in Abbotsford, and British Columbians were granted a ground-breaking opportunity. For the first time ever, BC residents can create positive environmental change and renewable energy production, all the while supporting local, sustainable agriculture.

For around a dollar a day, Cowpower supporters can enhance the environmental sustainability of every kilowatt-hour of electricity that their business, home or event consumes. These kilowatts are enhanced with the environmental and social attributes that are generated by anaerobic digesters, including reductions in greenhouse gas and odour emissions, and increased water and food safety, environmental protection and nutrient recovery.

We at Cowpower hope that this program will help make BC a leader in the development of anaerobic digesters – a technology that generates genuine environmental, social and economic benefits for our agricultural sector, local communities and BC as a whole. We look forward to building the Cowpower community with residents and businesses across the province.

The Cowpower launch was a great success, and everyone in attendance seemed genuinely excited about this new program. “Cowpower is an important step towards building stronger bridges between consumers and the agriculture sector”, said one of the attendees. “Farmers have the ability to do more than produce food” said a farmer at the launch. “However, first we need the right support to be able to build anaerobic digesters that are economically viable.”

Jim Shepard, the Pacific Agriculture Show organiser, was excited about the launch of Cowpower and having the Pacific Agriculture Show Cowpowered. “Since its inception, the Pacific Agriculture Show has always had a focus on efficiency and responsible stewardship of the land”, said Jim. “Cowpower not only enables the Show to take this focus to a whole new level, but it also gives us the opportunity to support the very sector that is so intrinsic to the success of the Show”.

Topics: Agriculture, Anaerobic Digestion, Sustainability, Biogas, Cowpower