Blue Sphere to Construct Waste-to-Energy Project in Boston
Israel-based Blue Sphere has signed a memorandum of understanding with a developer operating in the recycling and compost business to jointly build its third waste-to-energy project in the metropolitan area of Boston, Massachusetts.
Blue Sphere is set to build and operate a 5.2MW waste-to-energy plant on the same premises in the Boston area while utilizing the site’s existing operations. The facility will be developed to convert organic waste into clean energy to be used as a power source in Massachusetts.
In a statement, Blue Sphere CEO Shomi Palas said, “Our partner has already developed much of the critical infrastructure for a waste-to-energy project and this is not only expected to shorten our timeline to develop the project from start to finish, it is also expected to reduce costs and increase profitability for the project.”
Founded in 2007 under the name Jin Jie Corporation, Blue Sphere operates as a project integrator in the clean energy production and waste-to-energy markets primarily in the United States and Africa. The company generates electricity from biogas derived from organic waste and converts it into clean energy. They also generate soil amendments, compost, and other by-products. Blue Sphere is based in Even Yehuda, Israel.
Blue Sphere is also developing a 5.2 MW facility in Charlotte, North Carolina, currently in its design and engineering phase and expected to break ground this year. The facility should be fully operational in 2015 and has received over $22 million in project financing commitments. The company has signed a long-term contract with one of the largest power companies in the United States to purchase electricity generated at the waste-to-energy plant.
Additionally, the company is developing a 3.2 MW facility in Johnston, Rhode Island. Combined, the two plants should reach a capacity of 60 megawatts within five years and are part of a deal with Alfa Eco Corporation to build 12 to 15 facilities. Alfa Eco is a private business group that consists of direct investment funds owning and managing assets in the life science/healthcare, energy, metals and mining, construction development, agriculture and education sectors in the United States and abroad. In 2012, Alfa Eco formed a Bulgaria-based entity for the development of solar/wind farms in Bulgaria.
Waste-to-energy is one of the fastest growing segments in the renewable energy markets. According to SBI Energy, conductor of industrial, construction and materials market research, the thermal and biological segments reached $6 billion in 2012 and will reach $29 billion by 2022.
All but two UK regions failing on school energy efficiency
Most schools are still "treading water" on implementing energy efficient technology, according to new analysis of Government data from eLight.
Yorkshire & the Humber and the North East are the only regions where schools have collectively reduced how much they spend on energy per pupil, cutting expenditure by 4.4% and 0.9% respectively. Every other region of England increased its average energy expenditure per pupil, with schools in Inner London doing so by as much as 23.5%.
According to The Carbon Trust, energy bills in UK schools amount to £543 million per year, with 50% of a school’s total electricity cost being lighting. If every school in the UK implemented any type of energy efficient technology, over £100 million could be saved each year.
Harvey Sinclair, CEO of eEnergy, eLight’s parent company, said the figures demonstrate an uncomfortable truth for the education sector – namely that most schools are still treading water on the implementation of energy efficient technology. Energy efficiency could make a huge difference to meeting net zero ambitions, but most schools are still lagging behind.
“The solutions exist, but they are not being deployed fast enough," he said. "For example, we’ve made great progress in upgrading schools to energy-efficient LED lighting, but with 80% of schools yet to make the switch, there’s an enormous opportunity to make a collective reduction in carbon footprint and save a lot of money on energy bills. Our model means the entire project is financed, doesn’t require any upfront expenditure, and repayments are more than covered by the energy savings made."
He said while it has worked with over 300 schools, most are still far too slow to commit. "We are urging them to act with greater urgency because climate change won’t wait, and the need for action gets more pressing every year. The education sector has an important part to play in that and pupils around the country expect their schools to do so – there is still a huge job to be done."
North Yorkshire County Council is benefiting from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, which has so far awarded nearly £1bn for energy efficiency and heat decarbonisation projects around the country, and Craven schools has reportedly made a successful £2m bid (click here).
The Department for Education has issued 13 tips for reducing energy and water use in schools.