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Race horse waste-to-energy project receives grant

By Ryan C. Christiansen
Web exclusive posted March 6, 2009, at 10:29 a.m. CST

The Florida Energy and Climate Commission, which is housed within the Executive Office of Gov. Charlie Crist, has awarded $2.5 million to the Florida Thoroughbred Breeders' and Owners' Association to build a gasification plant to convert stall waste, as well as wood and organic waste, to syngas for the production of electricity.

FTBOA is an Ocala, Fla.-based organization that administers the $15-million state breeders' incentive program and is responsible for promoting the Florida thoroughbred industry. According to FTBOA, MaxWest Environmental Systems Inc. will be the technology provider for the gasification plant, which is expected to process 50,000 tons of stall waste and 50,000 tons of wood and organic waste per year to produce 10.5 megawatts of electricity. The gasification plant is expected to employ 24 people.

With more than 35,000 thoroughbred horses on 431 breeding and training farms covering more than 70,000 acres of pasture in Marion County, Fla., the FTBOA said the disposal of stall waste is a concern. Currently, individual farms are responsible for stall waste disposal. "We have spent a number of years trying to settle this issue for the thoroughbred farms," said Richard Hancock, executive vice president of FTBOA.

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