Grants to Deploy Emerging Renewable Energy

In order to provide an immediate boost to renewable energy technologies that have undergone rigorous development and engineering but have experienced little testing in commercial scale applications, the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) is awarding US$2 million in grant funding from the state’s Renewable Energy Trust to four emerging technology demonstration projects across the state.

Westborough, Massachusetts – November 6, 2003 [] “It is tremendously exciting to explore the viability of these cutting-edge new technologies, which could dramatically enhance our ability to harness electricity from clean, renewable sources in the near future,” said the MTC’s Executive Director Mitchell Adams. MTC received 14 proposals as part of a competitive funding process that included technical review and peer review. The four projects approved by the MTC Board of Directors include: Verdant Power, received $500,000 to advance the Gorlov Helical Turbines developed by Dr. Alexander Gorlov of Northeastern University. Funding will be used to construct and demonstrate a hydroelectric plant with capacity of approximately 20 kW utilizing six Gorlov helical turbines in the Merrimack River in Amesbury, Massachusetts. The proposed system is designed to extract useful electrical energy from free flowing river and tidal currents. Biomass Energy Resource Center received $496,976 to construct and demonstrate a combined heat and power biomass gasification system at Heyes Forest Products, a saw mill and dry kiln facility located in Orange, Massachusetts. The project will produce “gas” from woody biomass that will run an internal combustion engine with generation capacity of 112 kW. Energetech America, received $500,000 to install an ocean wave demonstration facility to be located at Point Judith Harbor in Rhode Island as part of a multi-state effort with Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island. The proposed 500 kW demonstration facility at Point Judith was selected by Energetech as the best opportunity to evaluate the operation of near shore ocean wave technology in New England. Renewable Oil International, received $499,886 to scale up, construct and demonstrate a 10-dry-tons-per-day biomass technology at Hubbard Forest Industries, a saw mill located at Royalston, Massachusetts. The project will use the company’s pyrolysis technology to convert woody biomass into a liquid fuel. This technology has potential applicability throughout western Massachusetts and New England and could provide new economic and environmental benefits to rural communities in the region. “These projects offer a good mix of renewable energy sources with ocean waves, biomass and free flowing hydro,” said Rob Pratt, Director of the Renewable Energy Trust. “We will put the lessons learned from these projects to use as we continue developing new methods to generate electricity from clean, secure sources of power.” The MTC manages the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust (MRET) which is an essential part of the state’s strategy to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources by encouraging the use of renewable resources such as wind, solar, biomass, fuel cells and landfill gas. The MRET, a public benefits fund, accrues monies through a very small tax on consumer’s electric bills in the state.
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