Alternative Wine

Parducci Wine Cellars is harnessing all sorts of alternative energy to produce its wine. The carbon neutral vintner now uses solar power, wind power and biodiesel tractors.

Parducci effectively transferred all of its energy needs to non-polluting, renewable sources by supplementing its on-site solar power with Green-E(R) certified wind energy purchased from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation. The annual positive environmental impact of the winery’s 100% green power use is equivalent to:

— removing 172 cars from the road for a year, or
— planting 242 acres of trees, or
— not driving a passenger vehicle 2,171,450 miles.

The oldest family-owned winery in Northern California’s Mendocino County, Parducci Wine Cellars is committed to responsible land stewardship, sustainable viticulture and green business practices that yield superior wines while protecting the environment.

In 2007 Parducci received the Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award, California’s highest environmental honor, for the company’s efforts to combat climate change. In addition to buying grapes from local family farmers, Parducci uses sustainable farming practices including bio-diesel tractors in the vineyards and 100% green power as well as earth friendly packaging at the winery. Parducci’s respect for the land yields quality wines as evident by recent 90+ point scores in several national wine publications.

Ethanol Fires Up LPP Gas Turbines

LPP CombustionLPP Combustion has successfully created a way to operate gas turbines using ethanol. The company says their operation offers another alternative for clean, renewable energy.

LPP Combustion, LLC, using its patented LPP Combustion System, has recently demonstrated natural gas-level emissions from bio-derived ethanol (ASTM D-4806) during gas turbine combustor testing. Emissions of nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide, and particulate matter (soot) were the same as natural gas-level emissions achieved using current dry low emission (DLE) gas turbine combustion technology. In addition, the combustion of this bio-derived ethanol produced virtually no net carbon dioxide emissions.

LPP Combustion has developed a Lean, Premixed, Prevaporized (LPP) combustion technology that converts liquid biofuels, such as biodiesel and ethanol, into a synthetic natural gas. This LPP Gas can then be burned with low emissions in virtually any combustion device in place of natural gas, providing users with substantial fuel flexibility. A DLE gas turbine utilizing LPP Technology to burn biofuels creates a low emissions power plant with no net greenhouse gas emissions, resulting in the cleanest use of renewable fuels.

Get Schooled in Coal-To-Liquid

The Shaw GroupEngineers wanting to learn more about coal-to-liquid clean fuel projects have some new options for getting the education. Fuel Frontiers, Inc. has developed a CTL engineering program with Shaw, Stone and Webster.

Fuel Frontiers, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Nuclear Solutions, Inc., has announced that it has transferred funds to Shaw Stone & Webster (Shaw), a division of The Shaw Group Inc., to launch the engineering program that will provide a technical basis for a 400 Tonne per day Coal-To-Liquid (CTL) Ultra-Clean Diesel fuel production facility in Muhlenberg County, Kentucky.

Nuclear SolutionsFFI is planning to employ a commercially proven plasma gasification system designed by Westinghouse Plasma Corporation (WPC) coupled to commercially available Fischer-Tropsch (FT) gas-to-liquids (GTL) diesel fuel production systems, to be designed and constructed by Shaw Stone & Webster (SS&W) for its coal to ultra-clean diesel production facilities.

Georgia Power Fires Up Wood Biomass Plant

Georgia PowerWood-burning isn’t just great for pizza. It’s great for power. Georgia Power is using energy from wood biomass as part of its commitment to use independent renewable power producers.

Georgia Power and Yellow Pine Energy Company, LLC, a biomass-fired facility to be located near Fort Gaines, Ga., recently signed a 20-year contract for electricity that will be generated from environmentally-friendly wood waste. The material will come from timber harvesting residuals and collection of non-commercial tree species, tree-thinnings, lumber scraps and wood waste reclaimed from landfills.

The Yellow Pine facility is scheduled to go into operation in 2010 and will produce 110 megawatts of renewable energy. Under the contract, Georgia Power will purchase almost half of the plant’s capacity, or about 50 megawatts. One megawatt is enough energy to supply a Wal-Mart shopping center or 250 Georgia residences.

Georgia Power provides energy for 2.3 million consumers throughout the state.

BioGold From the USA to the UK and Beyond

BioGold FuelsBioGold Fuels is extending the reach of its operations throughout the Western World. The company has entered into a joint venture with a company in the United Kingdom to establish waste to energy plants throughout Europe.

BioGold Fuels Corporation in a joint venture with Jack Allen Holdings Limited, has formed BioGold Fuels U.K. Limited and BioGold Fuels Europe Limited. The companies will work together to build plants throughout Europe that will convert waste into biodiesel, fuels, and energy, including fuel cells.

“BioGold is excited to be expanding our operations into the European market,” said BioGold’s CEO, Steve Racoosin. “Our collaboration with Jack Allen Holdings Limited, with their local expertise in the UK and throughout Europe, will strengthen BioGold’s success in producing biodiesel and energy throughout Europe. Our initial focus is on the United Kingdom with future plans to expand and build plants throughout Europe.”

Ethanol Production Moves Full Steam Ahead

AE&EThe latest technology for producing ethanol is getting steamy. Literally. A new patent means more environmentally-friendly production of ethanol.

Interstate Power and Light Company, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy Corporation, and AE&E – Von Roll, Inc., a technology provider of steam generating systems using renewable, waste and conventional fuels, have together patented(*) a technology application that helps ethanol plants run more efficiently, reduce emissions and improve their overall energy balance. FCStone Carbon, LLC has joined the patent owners to provide marketing and arrange financing options for ethanol producers interested in the technology.

Alliant EnergyThe patented process involves the way steam is produced for the ethanol manufacturing process. Using AE&E-Von Roll’s fluidized bed reactor technology, residue and byproducts of making ethanol are used as fuel to generate steam used in the plant. This process reduces the amount of natural gas needed by the whole plant by more than 50 percent while reducing emissions at the plant. This means lower operating costs and a better environmental impact.

As ethanol production has more than doubled in the past eight years, energy balance is a key issue. This technology will help producers reduce energy consumption while increasing the efficiencies of ethanol production.

Management says the new technology will offer more risk management and cost reduction for the ethanol industry.

Duke Energy is Getting Windier

Duke EnergyDuke Energy is picking a 100 more wind turbines from General Electric. The turbines are estimated to produce up to 150 Megawatts of wind power.

The turbines are anticipated to be in service in the 2009-2010 timeframe on sites currently under review in the western and southwestern United States.

The company’s wind generation assets are managed by Duke Energy Generation Services, a Duke Energy subsidiary that focuses on renewable energy, commercial power and onsite energy across the United States.

Duke Energy is headquartered in Charlotte, N.C. and supplies power to about 4 million customers throughout the U.S.

Turning Waste to Energy

Allied WasteTwo more landfill gas-to-energy facilities are slated for development in Virginia by Allied Waste. The second-largest non-hazardous solid waste services company already operates more than 50 landfill gas-to-energy products.

The Brunswick County Landfill in Lawrenceville, Virginia is an 8-megawatt generating facility that has been developed with Richmond, Virginia-based Ingenco, which builds, owns and operates distributed generation facilities. The Brunswick County facility, which commenced operations in mid-October, will generate enough electricity to power over 5,000 homes.

The King & Queen County Landfill in Little Plymouth, Virginia is a 12-megawatt generating facility that also has been developed with Ingenco. The King & Queen County Landfill facility will generate enough electricity to power more than 7,500 homes.

Allied Waste says the emission reduction attained by the 52 landfill gas-to-energy projects currently underway is equal to removing about 2.6 million vehicles from the road each year. The projects also provide heat/power to approximately 240,000 homes. The company has 17 projects in permitting or under construction.

Panda Puts Ethanol in Texas

Panda EthanolTexans in Sherman County can expect a new ethanol refinery. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has given Panda Ethanol the okay for an air permit for the company’s plans to build a 115 million gallon-per-year ethanol refinery. Panda says the refinery will be fueled by biomass.

The facility will be designed to annually refine an estimated 38 million bushels of feedstock-grade corn into a clean burning, renewable fuel for the nation’s transportation needs. The biofuel produced by the Sherman plant could displace approximately 2.6 million barrels of foreign oil a year.

Unlike other ethanol facilities which burn natural gas to generate the steam used in the ethanol manufacturing process, the Sherman facility will be engineered to gasify up to 1 billion pounds of cattle manure per year. By using biogas to fuel the plant, Panda is both conserving the energy equivalent of 1,000 barrels of oil a day and helping to address a significant environmental problem for the Texas Panhandle.

Once built, the Sherman refinery should be equal in size to Panda’s Hereford facility, currently nearing completion, which will be the largest biomass-fueled ethanol plant in the United States with one of the lowest carbon footprints of any similar-sized ethanol facility in the nation.

VeraSun Gets Two For One

VeraSun EnergyVeraSun Energy has broken ground on a new Oil Extraction Facility in Aurora, South Dakota. The new facility will use technology that enables the large ethanol producer to generate two renewable fuels from one kernel of corn.

VeraSun Energy Corporation, one of the nation’s largest ethanol producers, today announced that it began work on an oil extraction facility at its 120 million-gallon-per-year (MMGY) ethanol biorefinery located near Aurora, S.D. The facility will utilize a technology designed to extract corn oil from distillers grains, a co-product of the ethanol production process.

Production is targeted to begin in the fourth quarter of 2008 and the process is expected to yield 7-8 million gallons of corn oil annually from 390,000 tons of distillers grains. The corn oil will be made available for sale to the biodiesel market. One gallon of corn oil yields approximately one gallon of biodiesel, increasing the production of renewable fuels without creating additional feedstock demand.

“The production of two biofuels from one kernel of corn makes economic and environmental sense,” said Pete Atkins, VeraSun vice president, corporate development. “This is a great example of the innovation that will continue to develop as the industry matures. We are pleased to contribute to the commercialization of this technology.”

VeraSun Energy first introduced the concept behind this new technology in 2006. The company plans to get the technology up and running at its Fort Dodge and Charles City, Iowa, biorefineries by the end of 2009.