Feds back company that turns biowaste into energy

The federal government is investing in a company that makes self-contained power generators that will turn animal manure and other biowaste into electricity.


MP Scott Reid (Lanark-Frontenac-Lennox and Addington) announced today in a media release that the federal government is furnishing up to $480,500 in repayable funding to Powerbase Energy Systems.


“This project will create jobs and boost farmers’ income by helping them turn waste into energy that they can both use and sell,” said Reid in the release.


The money will help Powerbase Energy Systems create a new manufacturing facility to produce power-generating units that process waste into energy. The facility, located in Carleton Place, will create 10 direct and 15 indirect jobs and is expected to generate approximately $35.5 million in annual company revenue by 2013.


These renewable energy generation units will provide farmers with additional farming income through the sale of surplus power to the Ontario power grip and will reduce or eliminate their own electricity costs. In addition to energy savings, the benefits include the reduction of pathogens in the environment, manure odours, and greenhouse gases, as well as simplifying manure handling.


“We are very pleased to have the financial support of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada for the rollout of our Synergy Biogas product line. We are creating jobs locally and economic opportunities for farmers with renewable energy technology,” said Rob Morley, President of Powerbase Energy Systems.


“The biggest direct benefit to me will be the earned income from electrical sales,” says Doug Cleary, a local farmer planning to install a Synergy Biopower System that will process manure and restaurant waste. “Our neighbours will appreciate it and so will the restaurant industry as it will prevent both of these kinds of waste from damaging the environment.”


Powerbase Energy Systems designs, markets, and services hydroelectric control systems for small hydroelectric power generators and is filling a need for small-scale power generation systems linked to agriculture production.


Powerbase has developed a modular power generation system specifically targeted to dairy, beef and hog farms and oilseed producers. The company’s modular system, marketed under the trade name “Synergy Biopower”, includes biogas generation equipment, an optional anaerobic digester, electrical system controls, gas flaring system, and a power utility linkage to connect to the local power grid, which has been approved by the Ontario Power Authority.


The Synergy Biopower system will allow the farmers to transform livestock waste and crushed oilseed waste into electricity which they will sell to the Ontario power grid or power their operations.


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