Companies Increase Profits, Save Jobs by Changing to Renewable Fuels

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High natural gas and oil prices are no longer threatening the bottom line for companies willing to take a look at generating energy using alternative fuels. Quick paybacks as well as environmental benefits are prompting many companies in the heartland to generate steam by burning readily available waste products that they previously paid to transport to landfill. Local, state, and federal agencies are providing tax incentives and funding to help decision-makers move forward.

Gregory W. Smith, President of Global Energy Solutions, Inc., together with Gene Zebley of Hurst Boiler & Welding Co., Inc., has negotiated several contracts in 2006 for construction of renewable energy plants, the most recent of which is a 25.5 megawatt steam plant for Consolidated Grain & Barge of Mt. Vernon, IN. Annual fuel costs for this system are expected to be significantly reduced using wood waste rather than natural gas as boiler fuel.

Consolidated Grain’s biomass gasification and heat recovery steam plant will burn biomass fuel. It is expected to displace the use of approximately 500,000 MMBTUs of natural gas consumption per year currently required for steam production while diverting as much as 60 million pounds per year of refuse wood waste from local landfills. Consolidated Grain was approved for a $100,000 Alternative Power and Energy grant from the State of Indiana’s Office of Energy and Defense Development to help support this green energy initiative. Indiana encourages the shift from fossil fuels to renewable fuels by providing financial support to businesses and industries that are threatened by skyrocketing natural gas prices.

“I am pleased to see Consolidated Grain take the bold and innovative steps to turn local biomass into an energy resource,” remarked Indiana Lt. Governor Becky Skillman, who oversees the state’s Office of Energy and Defense Development. “Projects like this will reduce energy costs for companies, in turn making them more competitive. I can also see a long-term impact if more businesses adopt similar technologies. By reducing demand for natural gas, we will lower the cost of heating our homes or businesses. That is good for all cost-conscious consumers.”

Greg Smith has helped businesses this year in Massachusetts, Iowa, Indiana and South Dakota as they work to cut fuel costs and increase profits, while utilizing readily available waste products instead of natural gas. “It’s good for the environment, good for the states that wish to retain their existing businesses, and essential for the fiscal health of these organizations.” Mr. Smith explained last month at the PowerGen Renewable Fuels Conference in Las Vegas. “I wish every state would launch a grant program —just like The State of Indiana—to demonstrate a solid commitment to green energy.”                

After extensive research, Consolidated Grain & Barge chose Global Energy Solutions, Inc. and Hurst Boiler & Welding to provide their state-of-the-art heat recovery steam system. Global Energy Solutions, Inc. provides conceptual design, system integration and fuel aggregation services. Hurst Boiler & Welding Co., Inc. North America’s leading manufacturer of biomass gasification systems, is providing engineering support, equipment design, fabrication and installation. The project is scheduled for completion and commissioning during 4th quarter 2006.

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