08/24/04 — Green Power forms speakers bureau

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Green Power forms speakers bureau

By Bonnie Edwards
Published in News on August 24, 2004 1:58 PM

A speakers bureau is standing by for those interested in buying blocks of renewable energy that comes from the Wayne County landfill and a hog farm in Duplin County.

Residents and small businesses can sign onto a renewable-energy power grid by calling their power company.

A block of energy equals about 100 kilowatt hours at a price of $4 a month above the normal cost. The extra cost, which is tax deductible, shows up on a customer's electric bill.

Manufacturers and other large buyers of electricity can buy the blocks for an additional $2.50 per 100 kilowatt hours.

A kilowatt hour of electricity usually costs about 3 cents to create from fossil fuels. Cutting-edge technology can now create energy at waste sites at a cost of about 5.5 cents.

The nonprofit N.C. GreenPower is subsidizing the cost of producing the renewable electricity. The organization also has a speaker's bureau whose members will visit groups for free to discuss the renewable-energy program. To contact the speaker's bureau call toll-free to 1-866-533-6247.

So far, power customers have bought 173,136 kilowatt hours, which will run about 17 million kilowatt hours a year.

GreenPower has chosen seven providers of renewable power to put electricity onto the grid in North Carolina. One will be using Wayne County's garbage and another will be using hog waste in Duplin County to make electricity.

The producer in Wayne County will be Methane Credit LLC of Tucson, Ariz. The company plans to build a plant at the Wayne County landfill.

The county will sell the company methane gas -- a product of decomposing garbage -- that the company will use to run turbines and create power. The county has installed a gas collection system and burns the gas through a flare. When the plant opens, the gas will be diverted there and the flare shut off.

The contract in Duplin County is with Ag Provision, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods. Equipment is in place at a farm near Kenansville where about 10,000 hogs are raised. The manure will be converted into gas, which is burned on site.