Israel-based Bluesphere Corp., a developer, manager and owner of waste-to-energy projects (WTE), has announced that Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, has issued the company an air emissions permit for a 5.2 megawatt (MW) organic WTE project in Charlotte, North Carolina. Obtaining the air emissions permit is a requirement prior to build out and operations at the plant. The permit signifies that the plant meets stringent local, regional and national environmental emissions regulations, according to a company press release.
“This marks another milestone in the development of our 5.2 MW clean energy project in Charlotte. The air permit usually tends to be one of the more difficult-to-get permits,” says Bluesphere CEO Shlomi Palas. “We are now preparing to submit applications for the remaining permits, but the biggest piece of the permitting process is now behind us. We are nearing groundbreaking on the site and will produce and deliver power on schedule.”
Bluesphere’s facility will take in organic waste such as food and farm waste that would normally be landfilled. The organic waste is processed in an anaerobic digester to emit biogas, which then is turned into electricity with compost as a byproduct. The facility generates revenues from the intake of organic waste, as well as the sale of renewable electricity and the sale of compost.
A Fortune 50 company has signed on to provide more than $14 million in debt project financing for the facility and an environmental finance fund will provide equity project financing of $8 million, with an additional $1.5 million to be kept in reserve, the company reports.
A domestic power holding company has signed a long-term contract with Bluesphere to purchase electricity generated at the plant. Compost, which is a byproduct of the organics-to-energy generation process, will be purchased under a contractual agreement by what Bluesphere says is one of the largest privately held composting companies in the world.
Bluesphere is developing its second U.S. organics-to-waste facility in Rhode Island, and by 2018 the company says it plans to have 11 facilities built with 6 more under construction and development.