New Hampshire company gets OK for energy project

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BRATTLEBORO >> The Windham Solid Waste Management District is one step closer to once again providing methane for an energy-producing project near its site.

The Vermont Public Service Board on Friday agreed to transfer the certificate of public good from the now-bankrupt Carbon Harvest company to Brattleboro Organic Energy, a subsidiary of NEO Energy of Portsmouth, N.H.

In March NEO Energy and the Windham Solid Waste Management District agreed to a deal that transferred the lease formerly held by Carbon Harvest to NEO Energy. NEO Energy wants to capture the methane gas being released by the WSWMD capped landfill to produce energy.

The company also has plans to construct a large-scale anaerobic digester to produce additional energy from the WSWMD compostable waste.

The Public Service Board decision transfers the certificate of public good, which was issued to Carbon Harvest on July 13, 2010 for a 560 kilowatt landfill-gas generation facility, to Brattleboro Organic Energy.

Brattleboro Organic Energy will now be able to move ahead with a feasibility study for a proposed anaerobic digester off of Old Ferry Road.

Carbon Harvest wanted to build the energy facility at the Brattleboro site to augment its waste-to-food and waste-to-algae facility. The company had plans to construct a completely closed-loop system that produced energy and food from the methane and waste heat generated at the landfill.

The company filed for bankruptcy in April 2013.

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Brattleboro Organic Energy entered into a purchase and sales agreement with the trustee of the Carbon Harvest estate on Dec. 31, 2014. That agreement included the project assets and the rights of Carbon Harvest in the gas purchase and lease agreement with Windham Solid Waste Management District.

In March 2015 a bankruptcy court approved the sale of the Carbon Harvest assets to Brattleboro Organic Energy.

NEO Energy is a renewable energy development company that has been developing projects around New England that use the gases produced during the decomposition of food waste to produce energy.

The company has also developed a system that turns the solid waste into fertilizer.

The $5-$8 million Brattleboro project is expected use the increasing amount of food waste WSWMD will be taking in as Vermont's new solid waste law goes into effect.

Brattleboro Organic Energy and WSWMD have agreed to a $500 a month lease for the company to use the methane gas now coming off of the capped landfill.

If the anaerobic digester is built the waste district will likely enter into a much more substantial lease agreement with Brattleboro Organic Energy .

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be contacted at 802-254-2311 ext. 279.


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