Agriculture Community Explores Waste to Energy

Agriculture and the energy industry may establish a new relationship in the town of Rimbey, Canada. A Green Municipal Fund (GMF) grant of CAD$ 347,500 (US$ 264,000) for a study of gasification plant technology to convert organic waste into ethanol, power, heat, bio-fuel, and other bi-products was awarded to the town by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities.

Rimbey, Canada – August 11, 2004 [SolarAccess.com] Town Mayor Dale Barr and Councillor Ken Lesniak of Strathcona County announced the award to the community. “Rimbey has a diverse agricultural industry with over 100 businesses serving a trading area of approximately 20,000 people,” said Barr. “Our goal is to address existing organic waste and household waste disposal problems in a new and innovative way. This project can lead to many new jobs and represent over 30 million dollars in new commercial investment. It can also provide a new income stream for local farmers by way of offering them an opportunity to divert organic waste, such as, straw, feedlot waste, auction market waste and dry manure. It will benefit all our communities by reducing the use of the landfill facility.” The study will investigate technologies to convert organic waste into ethanol and other bio-oils, while providing heat and power. It will tackle issues such as; long-term feedstock availability and cost, energy balance, and anticipated greenhouse gas (GHG) benefits that could result from establishing an ethanol production facility in the town. Rimbey has a well-developed industrial park and a substantial supply of feedstock needed for gasification plant operations. The proposed plant site is close to facilities that could benefit from waste heat as well. “(This study) will lay out an important roadmap with lessons learned for other municipalities to draw upon in the future,” Lesniak said. The Government of Canada has endowed $250 million to the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) to establish and manage the Green Municipal Funds. The Funds support partnerships and leveraging of both public and private sector funding to reach higher standards of air, water and soil quality, and climate protection.

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