Business Briefs

PowerStock appoints Pettit to development role
PowerStock, a provider of biomass feedstock solutions for renewable energy generation and advanced biofuels development, announced it has appointed Harrison Pettit, an ethanol industry veteran, to the position of vice president of business development. Prior to joining PowerStock, Pettit was director of business development for Pacific Ethanol Inc., where for four years he was instrumental in the development of the company's 220 MMgy of ethanol production and was the lead developer for its 60 MMgy plant in Burley, Idaho, completed in May 2008. Pettit also led Pacific Ethanol's advanced biofuels efforts, overseeing its 2.7 MMgy cellulosic ethanol commercial demonstration project, which was selected in 2008 by the U.S. DOE for a $24.3 million financial assistance grant.

John Deere launches 900K-series feller bunchers
The John Deere 900 K-series tracked feller bunchers pack plenty of power. The largest, the 953K and the 959K, come with an industry-first 330-horsepower (hp) engine standard, while the smaller 903K and 909K have dual power options at 300 hp and 330 hp, respectively. The 900s feature a larger displacement Tier 3 PowerTech Plus 9.0L engine that delivers the power, with the lowest daily fuel cost in the industry and a 295-gallon fuel tank. Designed with a quick-recovery saw that never slows down, the 900K-series features a best-in-class felling head accumulation that picks up more trees at once and high-tractive effort-to-weight ratio with low-ground pressure for smooth operation.

Ze-gen named top 50 Greentech Startup
Ze-gen Inc. announced that Greentech Media has chosen it as one of the top 50 venture capital-funded Cleantech Startups. The list includes companies from every sector of the cleantech industry, including green building, solar, wind, geothermal, smart grid, energy storage, next-generation vehicles and gasification. Ze-gen was chosen from among 500 venture capital funded firms. Inclusion in the Greentech Media's Top 50 Greentech Startups signals leadership amongst cleantech peers and Ze-gen's potential to severely disrupt the market. Ze-gen offers an economically viable and environmentally superior alternative to traditional landfills and incineration processes through its advanced gasification technology that creates renewable fuel from waste to produce clean energy.

Jonsson named Chemrec CEO
Max Jonsson has taken over as CEO of Chemrec AB, following the resignation of Rick LeBlanc. Jonsson's company, Nykomb, of which he is chairman, is one of the owners of Chemrec. LeBlanc led Chemrec through the past year, during which considerable progress was achieved towards the goal of commercializing of Chemrec's technology for gasification of black liquor and production of motor fuels. Jonsson has a finance background and previously held senior positions in the development, financing and operation of independent power production projects. He founded and led the start-up of the HyHeat energy recovery technology company, whose technology won the Swedish Environmental Innovation of the Year award in 2009.

Boldt to build We Energies cogeneration plant

The Boldt Co. will provide all construction services for We Energies' new 50-megawatt biomass cogeneration plant at the Domtar Corp. paper mill in Rothschild, Wis. The total project cost was pegged at $255 million. We Energies, the Milwaukee-based provider of electricity and natural gas to more than 1 million customers, said the project will create about 400 construction jobs and 150 permanent jobs in central Wisconsin. Construction could begin next spring if the Wisconsin Public Service Commission gives the green light by the end of the year. The facility will use forest residue, clean wood waste and wood shavings to generate electricity and steam to assist Domtar's papermaking operations and wean the Montreal-based firm off fossil fuels.

ArborGen hires Mann as general manager Australasia operations

ArborGen, a tree improvement and production company, announced that Greg Mann has joined the organization as general manager of ArborGen Australasia. Mann will oversee ArborGen New Zealand and Australia operations. He comes to ArborGen with more than 15 years of business and science experience. Most recently he was the commercial general manager at The New Zealand Institute for Plant & Food Research Ltd., a New Zealand science company specializing in elite cultivar development, sustainable production systems and bioprotection, where he led the team responsible for the commercialization of technology and intellectual property.

Buhler Aeroglide acquires drying technology license

Buhler Aeroglide announced a license agreement with Ronning Engineering Co. Inc. of Overland Park, Kan. The license agreement includes the utilization of Ronning's drying technology for specific market segments such as biomass. The license agreement completes Buhler Aeroglide's portfolio of convection drying technologies. With the addition of Ronning's specialized rotary drying technology, Buhler Aeroglide is able to provide fully-integrated biomass processing solutions from drying of raw material to grinding, pelleting and final bulk load-out of finished biomass fuel pellets. The acquisition will allow Buhler Aeroglide to provide drying solutions for the largest production rate challenges.

A.W. Jenkinson, Stobart Group set up joint venture

A.W. Jenkinson Forest Products, a U.K. supplier of wood chip and bark products, and Stobart Group Ltd., a provider of multi-modal transport and logistics in the U.K., have formed a new joint venture, Stobart Biomass Products Ltd. The new company was created to source and distribute supplies of biomass fuel to the emerging U.K. renewable energy market, allowing A.W. Jenkinson to concentrate on its traditional customer base. The biomass fuel sources will include low-grade virgin wood, arboricultural arisings, low-grade wood chips woody green waste, recycled timber and refuse-derived fuels.

Irish joins Anderson Partners as media director

Anderson Partners announced today that Cort Irish has joined the firm as media director. Irish will manage Anderson Partners' media planning and buying services, including both traditional and online media. He will also have a role in the firm's client development efforts. Before joining Anderson Partners, Irish was media director for Bozell in Omaha and has also worked for several national agencies, including Publicis/MediaVest and Starcom in New York and Chicago. Prior to that he worked with advertisers such as Denny's restaurants, Kraft, Green Giant and Allstate, before returning to Omaha, his hometown.

Upfill-Brown joins Terrabon as COO
Terrabon Inc., a waste-to-fuel conversion technology company, announced that Simon Upfill-Brown has joined the company as chief operating officer. Upfill-Brown has more than 25 years of experience in executive leadership roles and a proven track record in the development of early-stage technology companies. He will oversee the company's operating teams and will play an integral part in driving development of Terrabon's innovative technologies. Prior to joining Terrabon, he served as CEO of GreenFuel Technologies Corp. in Cambridge, Mass., a venture spun out of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology that recycled flue gas CO2 into valuable ingredients for feed, food, fuel and chemical markets.

NDARE elects officers
Patrice Lahlum, West Fargo, N.D., is the new chair of the North Dakota Alliance for Renewable Energy. Lahlum, a consultant to the Great Plains Institute on biomass programs, was elected at NDARE's annual meeting. Other officers include Kim Christianson, Great Plains Energy Corridor, vice chair, and Jocie Iszler, communications consultant, secretary-treasurer. Other members include Al Christianson, Great River Energy; Mindi Grieve, Environmental Law & Policy Center; Terry Goerger, farmer; and Mike Williams, Greenfields Energy. Kim Christianson was elected to his first three-year term and Iszler was re-elected to a three-year term on the board. NDARE promotes the development and use of renewable energy, including biofuels, biomass and wind energy, as well as the widespread adoption of smart energy efficiency and conservation practices.

Capstone Turbine's Crouse elected chairman of WADE
Capstone Turbine Corp., a clean technology manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, announced that Capstone Executive Vice President Jim Crouse was elected chairman of the board of directors for the World Alliance for Decentralized Energy. In the influential role as WADE's chairman, Crouse will help the organization set its agenda, expand its global presence and broaden efforts to accelerate worldwide development of cogeneration, onsite power and decentralized renewable energy systems. WADE's membership includes more than 200 corporate leaders in the decentralized-energy industry, national cogeneration and decentralized energy associations, and a number of public and private institutions.