Business Briefs

By Staff | May 23, 2011

McGinn takes helm at ACORE, Reicher to chair board of directors
The American Council On Renewable Energy announced that Dennis V. McGinn has accepted the position of president. And Dan Reicher has become chairman of ACORE’s board of directors, with co-chairman of the board of directors, John Geesman, stepping down. Retired Vice Admiral McGinn served 35 years with the U.S. Navy as a naval aviator, test pilot, aircraft carrier commanding officer and national security strategist. He is actively engaged in efforts at the national level to highlight the close link between energy, climate and national security. He is a strong advocate for innovative government policy, public and private partnerships and investments that will promote clean energy growth and innovation. ACORE also announced that Geesman, co-chairman of the board, a former commissioner of the California Energy Commission and former ACORE advisory board member, is stepping down. Replacing him will be Reicher, who has more than 25 years of experience in energy and environmental technology, policy, finance and law, is the executive director of the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy & Finance at Stanford University and a faculty member of the Stanford law and business schools. Formerly, he was director of climate change and energy and initiatives at Google, U.S. DOE assistant secretary for energy efficiency and renewable energy under President Clinton, and a member of President Obama’s transition team.

Walki’s biomass cover improves drying process
Logging residue is an inexpensive and easily accessible source of biofuel, but to improve the energy content it must first dry on the ground and after that it can be stored in piles for several months. To shelter the piles from moisture through rain, snow and ice, Walki Group has developed a paper-based, waterproof cover that can be chipped and burned together with the residue. The cover is a four-meter wide laminate, mainly produced from renewable fibrous materials. It shelters the top of the pile but leaves the sides open, allowing moisture to evaporate. In addition to shielding the residue from water and snow, the biomass cover also protects the residue from freezing, which can transform the pile into an icy heap that’s almost impossible to handle and has low energy content.

Frontline, SGC Energia forge strategic partnership
Frontline BioEnergy and SGC Energia announced that the companies have completed a set of transactions that will bring new capital investment to Frontline, an Iowa-based gasification technology and project development firm. The scope of these transactions includes an agreement for SGC Energia to license Frontline gasification and gas conditioning technologies and a multiyear contract for Frontline to provide a range of engineering services to support SGC Energia. SGC Energia is a private European company with a main engineering and project management office in Houston. SGC Energia intends to leverage Frontline’s expertise in gasification technologies and project development to enhance its strategic efforts. With this Series B round investment, SGC Energia joins members of the Frontline management team and founding partner Chippewa Valley Ethanol Co. as owners and managers of Frontline BioEnergy.

Bioprocess control appoints Andersson CEO
Bioprocess Control AB announced the appointment of Patrik Andersson as its new CEO. With multiple years experience in a management role, Patrik will lead the company as it enters a new phase in its development. Based in Lund, Sweden, Bioprocess Control has a portfolio of products that improve the design and operation of biogas plants. The appointment of Andersson follows the mutually agreed departure of Kristofer Cook, former Bioprocess CEO and co-founder. After stepping down, Cook will continue to work on a part-time basis, while spending the remainder of his time with a new start-up project. Andersson officially took the helm on April 18, after working the past two years as incubator manager of Ideon Innovation in Lund, one of Sweden’s leading incubators for start-up companies. Prior to that, he spent nine years in the Sapa Group, the world´s largest aluminum extruder.

Capstone Turbine names senior VP, program management
Capstone Turbine Corp. has named Robert C. Gleason senior vice president, program management. Darren Jamison, Capstone's president and CEO, recently announced the creation of the new position to ensure the timely execution of the company's critical cost reduction programs, reliability improvement initiatives and U.S. DOE programs. The company has three new product development efforts underway: a flexible-fuel microturbine to run on agricultural syngas, an externally fired solar-powered microturbine and to increase the output of the C200 microturbine to 250 kilowatts and utilize the C250 as part of a new multistage high-efficiency C370 product. Gleason has more than 17 years of experience in program management, project engineering and business development in high technology companies.

BinMaster now offers Internet-based, real-time inventory
BinMaster Level Controls of Lincoln, Neb., announced the introduction of BinView, an inventory management system that offers real-time bin level monitoring for solid materials over the Internet or via a company LAN or VPN. The components of the BinView solution are BinMaster’s SmartBob2 or SmartBob-TS1 sensors mounted on the bins, a wireless or wired data communications network, a gateway to provide connectivity to a personal computer or IP network, and data collection software that can be viewed securely by any authorized individual via an Internet connection or over the company’s LAN or VPN. BinView eliminates the need to manually check bin levels to improve safety and save time, money and manpower by improving the efficiency of ordering and logistics for all types of operations from farms, to processing and manufacturing operations, to the largest storage facilities.

EPRI names Craver as board chairman
The board of directors at the Electric Power Research Institute announced that Theodore F. Craver Jr., the chairman, president and CEO of Edison International, has been elected board chair. Craver became chairman and CEO of Edison International in 2008, and before that was chairman and CEO of one of its subsidiaries, Edison Mission Group, from 2005 to 2008. Before joining Edison in 1996, Craver was executive vice president and corporate treasurer of wholesale banking subsidiary First Interstate Bancorp, where he also served as executive vice president and chief financial officer. He also worked with Bankers Trust Co. of New York and Security Pacific National Bank in various capital markets sales and trading capacities.

GE’s biogas engines to power China’s largest ethanol plant
Supporting China’s efforts to increase the use of biogas for renewable energy production and in motor vehicles, GE is supplying its “ecomagination”-approved Jenbacher biogas engine technology to power China’s largest ethanol production plant under construction in NanYang, Henan Province. Owned by Henan Tianguan Group, the ethanol plant will produce 500,000 cubic meters of biogas per day from cassava plants. A 36-megawatt (MW) on-site power plant featuring GE’s Jenbacher engines is being built in multiple phases to support the ethanol plant’s operations. For the 11 MW first phase of the power plant, GE is supplying four of its J620-biogas engine units. The gas engines will utilize the ethanol plant’s waste methane biogas to generate renewable electricity, which Henan Tianguan Group plans to sell to the regional grid. GE’s biogas engines will also use methane gas created by the anaerobic digestion of cassava biomass to production electricity for the site.

CDC introduces the BPAL solution for biomass procurement management
Circuit Design Corp. now offers the bioenergy sector its proven, comprehensive solution developed for the pulp and paper industry. Bulk Procurement and Logistics System functions allow advanced automation and integration of administrative and operational functions of a bulk feedstock procurement process, such as purchase planning, contract creation and control, truck reception and scaling, sample extraction and random laboratory testing, unloading site control and payments to parties under contracts.