21 March 2006 – Green Power EMC, a partnership of 28 electric membership corporations (EMCs) in Georgia USA, today announced plans to purchase 20 MW of electricity from the first poultry litter-to-energy operation in Georgia.
The electricity will be provided by Earth Resources Inc., which will construct a chicken litter-to-electricity plant near Carnesville, Ga., about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta. The Franklin County plant is the first in the state to use a gasification system to convert poultry litter into a useful product — electricity.
When complete, the $20m facility will generate enough energy annually to meet the needs of more than 15 000 homes. Construction is scheduled to begin in May and expected to be operational by summer 2007.
The 15-year power purchase agreement is part of Green Power EMC’s mission to research and develop renewable energy options such as biomass, solar, wind and low-impact hydro.
“Green Power EMC continues to assist its members in diversifying their energy resources and their renewable energy portfolio,” says Michael Whiteside, president/CEO of Green Power EMC. “This technology will benefit businesses, farmers, EMC customers, residents of Georgia and the environment.”
The Franklin County project has attracted interest from universities, government agencies, utility companies and agri-business interests.
Georgia is the largest poultry-producing state in the United States and represents a $17 billion industry in Georgia, according to the University of Georgia.
Recently, Green Power EMC had closely monitored an Earth Resources chicken-litter-to-energy research demonstration project, made possible by a $1m grant from the US Dept. of Agriculture. After the prototype proved so successful, Earth Resources made plans to construct a commercial facility.