PERC Recognizes Top Clean Cities Coalitions

Five Clean Cities Coalitions were awarded with the first ever Outstanding Propane Supporter awards at the Energy Independence Summit in Washington, D.C. by the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). The award recipients included Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition, Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition, Clean Fuels Ohio, Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities, and Virginia Clean Cities. They were given the award in recognition of Propane-Council logotheir promotion of the use of propane autogas and other alternative fuels through grants, training programs, and community outreach. Their support of clean, American-made propane autogas has led to major adoptions of propane autogas vehicles in their states and across the U.S.

“For 20 years, Clean Cities has built partnerships with local and statewide organizations to encourage the adoption of alternative fuels and new transportation technology,” PERC President and CEO Roy Willis said. “Our Outstanding Propane Supporter award winners are examples of how public and private partnerships in the transportation sector are creating a cleaner future for fleets and communities nationwide.”

About the award winners:

  • Alabama Clean Fuels Coalition works with a large number of propane stakeholders, including propane retailers AmeriGas, Blossman Gas, Ferrellgas, and Heritage Propane in addition to the Alabama Propane Gas Association and propane vehicle manufacturer Roush CleanTech. They also promote propane vehicles on their website by listing applicable vehicle purchase incentives.
  • Greater Indiana Clean Cities Coalition managed a Recovery Act grant that has put more than 1,300 propane vehicles on the road in Indiana to date. The coalition also helped facilitate the construction of 120 alternative fueling stations in partnership with eight other project partners, and has secured more than $22 million in federal and state grants since 2002 for coalition member projects.
  • Clean Fuels Ohio helps organize the state’s Energy Independence Day event and actively promotes the use of alternative fuel vehicles. They’re also working on a $16 million project that would provide funding for conversions and infrastructure.
  • Dallas-Fort Worth Clean Cities is a major participant in organizing the Texas Alt Car Expo and helps fleets identify and obtain Texas grant funding for conversions. The group also works with the Texas Department of Transportation, Dallas County Schools, the City of Fort Worth, and other fleet managers on new vehicle purchases and training.
  • Virginia Clean Cities manages a Recovery Act grant to convert more than 1,200 vehicles to propane autogas. The coalition created a propane subcommittee and hosts frequent webinars and events promoting propane autogas.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFMillions of California households will see a Climate Credit averaging $35 dollars on their April utility bill. The California Public Utilities Commission and California Air Resources Board said the Climate Credit is made to households and small businesses to promote a cleaner and more efficient energy California. The goal of the credit is to encourage consumers to save money while fighting climate change.
  • Ocean Electric, Inc. a developer of marine-based alternative energy solutions, received notification from the Spanish Patent and Trademark Office that its application for international patent PCT/ES2013/070911 will be processed. The patent, titled “Power Plant for the Generation of Electrical Energy from Waves,” protects the company’s core innovation: a low-cost, floating platform that converts wave action directly into electricity. The company says this patented technology represents a major clean energy opportunity, decreasing the cost of owning and deploying wave-generated electricity plants and making the ocean a more practical source of renewable electricity.
  • Data from satellite sensors show that during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, the Midwest region of the United States boasts more photosynthetic activity than any other spot on Earth, according to NASA and university scientists. According to co-author Christian Frankenberg of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., “The paper shows that fluorescence is a much better proxy for agricultural productivity than anything we’ve had before. This can go a long way regarding monitoring – and maybe even predicting – regional crop yields.” The research found that during the Northern Hemisphere’s growing season, the U.S. Corn Belt “really stands out”.
  • The City of Lancaster has partnered with Green Charge Networks to install an intelligent energy storage system and an electric vehicle charging station at the Lancaster Museum of Art & History. Funded by a California Energy Commission grant, the system will be installed by private partner Green Charge Networks at no cost to the City. The project will generate an estimated $3,200 annually in cost savings. The energy storage system will be the first installed in the High Desert region of California. The electric vehicle (EV) charging station – specifically, a Nissan DC fast charger – will also be the first of its kind in the High Desert.

Sustainability Ctr. Gets Springfield Biodiesel Refiner

springboardbiodieselA maker of biodiesel equipment has donated a processor to a center dedicated to sustainable farming practices. California-based Springboard Biodiesel gave the Center for Sustainable Energy Farming (CfSEF), a nonprofit research organization, its industry-leading biodiesel processor.

The processor, a BioPro™ 380, is an appliance that converts a wide variety of vegetable and animal oils into premium-grade biodiesel. This fully automated biodiesel processor is capable of producing 100 gallons (or 380 liters) of biofuel every 48 hours.

Springboard’s CEO, Mark Roberts, said in a statement: “We are impressed by the research that CfSEF is doing into alternative non-food-based seed crops that can be economically grown and converted into renewable fuels. We are hopeful their research, specifically with Camelina and Jatropha, will be enhanced by Springboard Biodiesel’s equipment and that American farmers will continue to benefit from their findings.”

“The Center is very pleased to receive this donation from Springboard Biodiesel,” says CfSEF’s President & CEO, Richard Palmer. “We are planning to use this equipment to demonstrate the effectiveness of local farmers growing, processing and utilizing biodiesel on their own farms. This unit has the potential to help farmers achieve true sustainability by eliminating their need for diesel fuel to power their farming equipment. They can grow their own non-food-based energy crops, such as Camelina sativa and Jatropha curcas, and process it on-farm for their own use.”

Springboard Biodiesel is known for its small-scale biodiesel production equipment.

Hemp-to-Biofuels Research Gets Green Light

vote-hempA crop that has had an undeserved stigma attached to it could now become a source for biodiesel and ethanol. The recently passed and signed Farm Bill contains a provision that would allow hemp to be grown for research purposes, including making it into the green fuels.

“Hemp is a great crop for biodiesel, and we’ve already started experimenting with [cellulosic ethanol made from hemp],” explained Ben Droz with Vote Hemp, a group trying revitalize industrial hemp production in the U.S., at last week’s National Agriculture Day in Washington, D.C. He pointed out that hemp goes back a long ways in this country’s history, including being grown by the Founding Fathers and the founder of our modern automobile industry. “Henry Ford was actually doing research on hemp fuels and hemp biocomposites. And now today we are looking back to see if we can grow hemp once again.”

Ben said the Farm Bill defined industrial hemp, not to be confused with marijuana despite its similar appearance, as having 3/10 of a percent or less of THC – the active ingredient in the drug. Even if you smoked a hemp joint the size of a telephone pole, Ben said you still wouldn’t get high. But it’s only legal to do the research at universities and state ag departments in the 10 states where hemp is already legal to grow. He’s hoping that positive results in those locations will allow the effort to go nationwide.

“Those results will then encourage lawmakers to change the law so farmers can grow this profitable crop. There’s literally thousands of uses for hemp.”

Listen to all of Cindy’s conversation with Ben here: Interview with Ben Droz, Vote Hemp

2014 Ag Day Photo Album

ASA Applauds Biodiesel Tax Credit in Package

ASAlogo1Soybean growers are welcoming news of a couple of important measures moved forward in legislation for biodiesel. The American Soybean Association says a two-year extension of the dollar-per-gallon biodiesel tax incentive and a reinstatement of the pre-2014 expensing amounts for farm infrastructure and equipment under Section 179, both in the Senate Finance Committee Chairman’s Tax Extenders Package, are key issues for group’s members.

ASA First Vice President Wade Cowan, a farmer from Brownfield, Texas, issued the following statement on the committee’s proposal:

“The extension of the biodiesel tax credit is huge. Biodiesel blenders create a renewable and safe domestic energy source for our country and a valuable market for the soybean oil American farmers produce. The credit further encourages the development and sustained success of the biodiesel marketplace, and much credit goes to Chairman Wyden and Ranking Member Hatch and specifically Sens. Grassley and Cantwell for recognizing the importance of the biodiesel tax incentive and including it in their proposal…

“The proposal’s Section 179 reinstatement is also important. This enables farmers and other small business owners to expense investments made in new technology, equipment and infrastructure in their operations. Given the land-based and capital-intensive nature of farming, not to mention the ever-advancing technology we need to farm sustainably and competitively, this program helps us to stay on the cutting edge of our industry.”

Cowan also pointed out the biodiesel industry has been operating without the credit since the end of the fiscal year in September and called on the full committee to take up the measures quickly and move them on to the full Senate and House for final approval.

BioEnergy Bytes

  • BioEnergyBytesDFFiberight LLC has moved a step closer to constructing a $15-million facility designed to grab the organic material in garbage to convert into ethanol coined “trashahol,” at the company’s ethanol plant now being renovated in Blairstown, Iowa. The Marion City Council agreed to provide the Maryland-based firm with an economic-development incentive worth up to $850,000 to help it build its 50,000-square-foot facility in Marion’s “eco-industrial” park. The money will come from new property taxes generated from Fiberight’s investment, a common economic-development incentive called tax increment financing or TIF.
  • Canadian Solar Inc. has announced that The Manufacturer’s Life Insurance Company has agreed to provide approximately C$50.5 million in construction and term financing to Canadian Solar for the Company’s Mighty Solar power project located in Ontario, Canada. The Mighty Solar project will be acquired by Concord Green Energy Inc. after Commercial Operation. Bowmont Capital and Advisory acted as the Financial Advisor to Concord. Construction of the 10 MW (AC) Mighty Solar power project commenced and connection is expected in Q2 2014.
  • Algonquin Power & Utilities Corp. has announced the closing of the acquisition of the remaining 40% of the 400 MW wind power portfolio in the United States from Gamesa Wind US, LLC for total consideration of approximately US$115 million.
  • EverStream Energy Capital Management LLC has announced that a group of investors, led by EverStream and Claro y Asociados and including SunEdison, has recently closed on the 50.7 MWp solar power plant (known as “San Andres”) located in the Atacama Region of Chile, near the city of Copiapo. SunEdison developed the San Andres project, which reached commercial operation on March 14th, 2014, and will retain a partial equity position. It is the largest merchant solar power plant in Latin America and one of the largest such plants in the world.

Midtex Oil Offers E85 in San Marcos, Texas

Midtex Oil, L.P. is now offering E85 at its Spirit-branded convenience store located in San Marcos, Texas. Its fifth E85 station in the state, it is located off the interstate at 1214 IH-35 South, San Marcos, TX 78666.

Midtex Oil E85 pump in San Marcos Texas“Our local drivers are savvy enough to know the benefits of E85 fuel,” said Rodney Fischer, owner, Midtex Oil. “When we put up that E85 sign, we usually don’t even need to advertise about ethanol. It speaks for itself. This is one of several eco initiatives we have at Midtex.”

According to Midtex Oil, by offering this blend of 85 percent ethanol, 15 percent gasoline, these E85 stations will help the area reduce emissions, lower dependence on foreign oil and spur domestic economic growth.

“We have a longstanding benefit from Midtex’s bullishness on giving their customers more choice in fuels, that also happen to be better for the environment,” said Steve Walk, an Executive Director of Protec Fuel who worked with MidTex Oil to install the E85 pump. “This E85 station is instrumental in the greater Austin and San Antonio area to provide the building blocks for additional higher ethanol blends, like up-and-coming E15.” Protec also did a complete dispenser island renovation at this Spirit.

San Marcos, San Antonio, New Braunfels, Kyle and Austin are all also home to other E85 stations as well, making it very convenient for Flex-fuel (FFV) drivers utilizing E85 to fuel up.

“The Lone Star Clean Fuels Alliance and its stakeholders are pleased to see more E85 available in the region,” added Stacy Neef, Exec. Director of the Austin-based Clean Cities coalition. “The choice of E85 provides a large proportion of vehicles on the road today the ability to choose an alternative fuel at the pump, since half the new U.S.-produced cars can use E85.”

IPCC Releases Fifth Assessment Climate Report

AR5cover1_275_355_70The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has issued its Fifth Assessment Climate Report that says the effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans. The report finds in many cases the world is ill-prepared for risks from a changing climate. The report also concludes that there are opportunities to respond to such risks, though the risks will be difficult to manage with high levels of warming.

The report, Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability,” from Working Group II of the IPCC, details the impacts of climate change to date, the future risks from a changing climate, and the opportunities for effective action to reduce risks. A total of 309 coordinating lead authors and review editors, drawn from 70 countries, were selected to produce the report. They enlisted the help of 436 contributing authors, and a total of 1,729 expert and government reviewers.

The report concludes that responding to climate change involves making choices about risks in a changing world. The nature of the risks of climate change is increasingly clear, though the report finds climate change will also continue to produce surprises. The report identifies vulnerable people, industries, and ecosystems around the world. It finds that risk from a changing climate comes from vulnerability (lack of preparedness) and exposure (people or assets in harm’s way) overlapping with hazards (triggering climate events or trends). Each of these three components can be a target for smart actions to decrease risk.

“We live in an era of man-made climate change,” said Vicente Barros, Co-Chair of Working Group II. “In many cases, we are not prepared for the climate-related risks that we already face. Investments in better preparation can pay dividends both for the present and for the future.”

According to Chris Field, Co-Chair of Working Group II, adaptation to reduce the risks from a changing climate is now starting to occur, but with a stronger focus on reacting to past events than on preparing for a changing future.

“Climate-change adaptation is not an exotic agenda that has never been tried. Governments, firms, and communities around the world are building experience with adaptation,” Field said. “This experience forms a starting point for bolder, more ambitious adaptations that will be important as climate and society continue to change.”

Iowa Senate Votes for Renewable Fuels

The Iowa State Senate has voted unanimously (48-0) to pass Senate File 2344. The Iowa Renewable Fuels Association (IRFA) commended the Senate and noted the policy move showed tremendous, bipartisan support for renewable fuels.

“I applaud the Iowa Senate for voting unanimously to protect Iowa jobs and access to homegrown, clean-burning renewable fuels,” said IRFA Policy Director Grant Menke. “This vote sends a clear message that Iowans are serious about increasing renewable fuels Iowa fuel pumpproduction and use, expanding consumer fuel choice and growing Iowa’s economy.”

With renewable fuels producers facing significant federal policy uncertainty, Senate File 2344 protects Iowa’s renewable fuels industry by extending the state’s biodiesel production tax credit that is set to expire at the end of this year, and enhancing the state’s E15 retailer tax credit to help alleviate extra costs to Iowa retailers who want to offer E15 as a registered fuel during the summer driving season. The bill also updates Iowa Code to define biobutanol as a legal renewable fuel option for Iowans.

Iowa’s biodiesel producer incentive offers a $.02 per gallon refundable credit on the first 25 million gallons of biodiesel produced in any single plant. The incentive is set to expire at the end of calendar year 2014, but the legislation passed by the senate would extend the credit through 2019.

An amendment added to the bill would also extend an Iowa retailer credit of 4.5 cents per gallon for 5 percent biodiesel (B5) through 2019. It was set to expire in 2017. The amendment also extends retailer tax credits for biodiesel, E15 and E85.

The Iowa Biodiesel Board (IBB) commended the vote. “This state policy will encourage biodiesel production to remain in Iowa, which benefits Iowa’s economy and reputation as an American energy producer,” said Grant Kimberley, executive director of IBB. “It will also help shelter our state’s biodiesel industry from the impact of uncertainty over the federal Renewable Fuel Standard and other federal policies.”

ASA Concerned over Argentine Biodiesel for RFS

argentinaflagWhile Argentine biodiesel is having a hard time getting into Europe, its prospects to make it into the U.S. could be boosted. And that is worrying soybean growers in this country. This story from Agri-View says the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering whether it should allow Argentine biodiesel to be eligible under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The potential for CARBIO, the trade association representing Argentine biodiesel producers, with its 1.3 billion gallons of biodiesel production capacity and export subsidies, prompted the American Soybean Association (ASA) to send a letter to EPA to register its concerns.

ASA believes that the far reaching impacts of this issue require an exhaustive review by EPA that includes a public comment period and input from the various stakeholders as well as other government agencies, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative.

EPA must be made aware of the fact that Argentine biodiesel is being heavily subsidized into world markets, and the European Union already has imposed anti-dumping duties on Argentine biodiesel imports due to the significant subsidies that Argentine biodiesel receives as the result of Argentina’s differential export tax system (DET).

ASA also says the CARBIO application needs to be done far in advance so EPA can figure in the amount of Argentine biodiesel when calculating the Required Volume Obligation (RVO) for Biomass-based diesel for that year.

BioFuel PR Launches to Tell Ethanol’s Story

The ethanol industry knows that if it is going to be successful in the current political climate, they need to tell their personal ethanol stories. But this is easier said then done with the role of ethanol employees to produce fuel, feed and fiber – not be savvy BiofuelPRlogocommunicators. With several requests for help last fall from ethanol plants to help tell the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) their stories as part of the 2014 proposed rules for the Renewable Fuels Standard (RFS), ethanol veteran Joshua Morby and alternative energy veteran and ZimmComm New Media writer Joanna Schroeder teamed up to form a unique partnership: Biofuel PR.

The new communications firm is the first and only of its kind dedicated to the biofuels industry and according to Biofuel PR Partner Joshua Morby, brings together expertise from two decades of experience working with ethanol trade associations, key stakeholders and legislators to offer the biofuel industry a new communications solution.

JoshuaMorbyHeadshotDFMorby notes that there are a number of effective national trade and industry organizations that are doing a great job developing messaging, framing the issues and providing content. But while the associations allow their members to utilize their materials in the local market, many ethanol plants just don’t know how.

“The challenge that exists is the missing link at the local level. There’s no argument about the need for activity in communities across the country. The issue has always been who at the biofuels plant is tasked with telling the local story. That’s where we come in,” says Joshua.

Not only is enhancing a biofuel plant’s message in the local community important, but DF blogger and communications expert Joanna Schroeder notes that as a writer looking for new and intriguing angles, its hard to find great personal ethanol stories. But when she does, they receive great coverage around the world of the web.

SchroederheadshotDF“If there is one thing I understand, it’s that the role of a biorefinery is to produce renewable, cost competitive biofuels and byproducts – not to be communication experts,” explains Schroeder, Biofuel PR partner. “Our firm is able to serve in this role and take the lead on telling Americans the personal and often emotional stories about what the biofuels industry means to them, their families and their communities. Since I am always looking for the story, I know how to help biofuel plants better tell their stories and as a result, help gain awareness and support for ethanol around the country.”

Granite Falls Ethanol was one of the plants assisted by Biofuel PR during the EPA comment period.

“The team at Biofuel PR was helpful to us in our efforts to motivate local supporters and members of our community during the RFS comment period,” says Granite Falls Ethanol General Manager Steve Christiansen. “Biofuel PR understands our industry, the local communities were we live and operate as well as the world of communications.”

Corn Growers at Biofuels Beltway March

ace14-dc-corn-teamMore than 80 people turned out for the American Coalition for Ethanol Biofuels Beltway March this year, the most ever, and the diverse group included ethanol producers, retailers, bankers, truckers, cattle ranchers, students – and a whole bunch of corn farmers. The team here consisted of (LtoR) Missouri farmer Gary Porter, Missouri Corn Growers public policy director Shane Kinne, and Minnesota farmers on the board of Chippewa Valley Ethanol Dale Tolifson and Dave Thompson.

Cindy caught up with them as they were heading out of the Capitol after making their rounds and asked them each to give a brief impression of their visits.

Shane said the highlight of the trip was getting folks into meet with their lawmakers, telling the personal stories of farmers and fuel retailers and how ethanol is making a difference.

“They have a great story to tell, and it makes a huge difference when [lawmakers] hear it firsthand.” Shane said.

Gary said he appreciated the different points of view that he heard, such as viewpoints from folks not from the Midwest who aren’t involved in ag or ethanol.

“It’s interesting for me to talk to them and listen to what they say, and also for me to share with them the way I see it,” adding that since he’s a corn grower, cattle feeder and fuel retailer, he has a pretty well-rounded view and is willing to talk to even those he doesn’t agree with.

“That’s the ones we need to talk to,” Dave pointed out. “Even though they didn’t agree with us, they were very receptive to listening, they had good questions, and I think we have a great story to tell.”

Dale echoed those sentiments and was glad to tell his personal story.

“We tell about our experiences on the farm, how we helped grow the ethanol industry, and how that industry is not only important for clean air, but it’s important for jobs and the ag community,” as well as advancements in agriculture that wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for ethanol, including boosting yields to meet all demands.

Listen to what they said here: Interview with Biofuels March team


2014 ACE Biofuels Beltway March photo album

Prospective Plantings Down, But Corn Stocks High

ncga-logo-newThis year’s corn plantings are expected to be down this year, but growers say there will be plenty of stockpiles for all needs, including ethanol. The latest U.S. Department of Agriculture figures show that American farmers expect to plant 3.7 million fewer acres of corn this year, down four percent from 2013. But the National Corn Growers Association says, don’t worry, there are plenty of stocks going into the year, and it would still be the fifth-largest U.S. corn acreage planted.

“In 2013, U.S. farmers produced a record crop abundant enough to meet all needs and provide an ample carry over into 2014,” National Corn Growers Association President Martin Barbre said. “While it is still early in the season and many factors may change the reality on the ground as planting progresses, the public can rest assured that bountiful stockpiles and adequate plantings will ensure our corn security for the year to come.”

NCGA says the plantings will yield 13.37 billion bushels, and corn stocks stand at more than 7 billion bushels, up 30 percent from the same time last year.

EPA Approves Summer Gasoline RVP Requests

As reported by Platts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved Florida’s and North Carolina’s requests to allow certain counties to continue using 9 RVP gasoline through the summer season (or known as the traditional VOC reduction season). As it relates to ethanol, this allows these counties to blend E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) throughout the summer. Last year, states including Iowa were unable to sell the E15 blend due to VOC requirements.

EPA_LOGOEPA Gina McCarthy signed the unofficial document on March 19, 2014 and has submitted the document for publication in the Federal Register. The EPA regulates gasoline volatility, measured by Reid Vapor pressure during the “summer season” from June 1 through September 15. Platts reports that for refiners and terminals, this period shifts from May 1 through September 15.

The counties approved for the 9 RVP gasoline include Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill and Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point areas in North Carolina and Broward, Dale, Duval, Hillsborough, Palm Beach and Penella, all counties in and around Miami, Florida. Prior to the approval, these counties were only approved to use 7.8 RVP gasoline during this time frame.

Platts reports the rule is expected to go into effect without future notice unless the EPA receives negative comments within 30 days of the rules publication in the Federal Register.

It should be noted that this ruling, once in effect, could encourage other counties or states to also submit requests to the EPA for approval to sell the 9 RVP gasoline during the June 1 – September 25 time frame as a means to be approved to legally sell E15 year round to vehicles and light duty trucks manufactured in 2001 or later.

Georgia Tech Students Win ACC Clean Energy Challenge

A team of four students from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech) have taken the $100,000 grand prize in the ACC Clean Energy Challenge hosted by the U.S. Department of Energy. The team won with its electrical power grid technology that features an Internet-like control architecture. The $100,000 prize and ACC Clean Energy Cup were Energy Internetpresented by Dr. Darryll Pines, Dean of the Clark School of Engineering at the University of Maryland, Dean Chang, Associate VP, Academy for Innovation & Entrepreneurship, University of Maryland, and Jennifer Garson, Technology-to-Market Analyst, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy.

Winning second place was Clemson University’s Brewcovery, whose team is developing bio-separation and bio-digestion processes to recover and refine value-added co-products from the food industry and brewery waste.

The Georgia Tech team, known as Energy Internet, presented their technology to a panel of expert judges from the clean energy community at the ACC Clean Energy Challenge Final Four on March 26 at the University of Maryland, the competition host and organizer. The team, which includes graduate students Marcelo Sandoval, Jennifer Howard, Mitch Costley and Eric Crane, now moves on to represent the southeast region in the DOE National Clean Energy Business Plan Finals, to be held in Washington, D.C., on June 11-12, 2014.

ACC Clean Energy Challenge winner Energy Internet is developing a new electric power grid approach and solution with a decentralized, autonomous, Internet-like control architecture and a learning control software system. The proposed architecture leverages smart grid investment in sensing and communications and is massively scalable and incrementally deployable, enabling grid flexibility and numerous desirable value propositions, according to the Georgia Tech team. The new architecture is based on the emerging concept of electricity “Prosumers,” i.e., economically motivated parties (residential, commercial, industrial and institutional) that can produce, consume or store electricity as determined by their unique needs and capabilities.

The Clemson Brewcovery team is developing a bio-separation and bio-digestion system to create energy and additional products from food industry and brewery waste while reducing the carbon footprint of these facilities. Those products could include bio-lipids for biofuel production, organic nitrogen and phosphorus rich soil amendments, and high protein animal feeds.

The ACC Clean Energy Challenge event featured keynote speaker Mark Johnson, Director, Advanced Manufacturing Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, U.S. Department of Energy and former Program Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E).

The $100K ACC Clean Energy Challenge is a business plan competition encouraging students from all universities throughout the southeastern United States to develop business plans for new clean energy companies focused on renewable energy, energy efficiency improvements and advanced fuels/vehicles.