Turning waste into renewable energy

by Antonio Pasolini on June 26, 2009

We recently spoke to San Jose’s (Northern California) Development Officer, Steven Brewster, about Green Vision, the City’s plans to have 100% of its energy coming from renewable, clean sources. As part of the plan, the City last week announced it intends to build an organics-to-energy biogas facility, which would be the first of its kind in the country.

The City Manager already has authorization to negotiate and execute a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to develop guidelines and potential lease terms for the development of an organics-to-energy biogas facility on a 40-acre site near the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plan.

“If the negotiations for the MOU are successful, the City of San Jose would issue the lease to Zero Waste Energy Development Company, Inc., a partnership between GreenWaste Recovery and their sister company, Zanker Road Resource Management”, the City said in a statement.

The plan would give the City a real green boost as the facility could take in up to 150,000 tons of organic waste per year to process and produce energy from waste that would have been destined for a landfill. The resulting energy could supply power to the adjacent San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant (Plant) or be sold back into the regional electrical utility power grid.

Development of lease terms and the necessary regulatory and environmental approvals, as well as approval of the City’s partners in the Water Pollution Control Plant, are still awaiting approval, but if everything goes ahead as planned, construction work on the site could begin as early as 2010.

To learn more about the project, go here.

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