Business Briefs

By Staff | January 30, 2013

BioNitrogen Corp. adds to team
Florida-based BioNitrogen Corp., a company developing biobased urea fertilizer production, has hired Ernie Iznaga as operations manager. Iznaga, who has more than 20 years of experience in operation and engineering management, will be responsible for overseeing operations at the company’s initial plant in Hardee County, as well as at all future plants. BioNitrogen also added Brian Samuels as facility manager for its Hardee County facility. In his new role, Samuels will be responsible for supervising the operation of the plant, including the acquisition of biomass feedstock. Samuels has more than 20 years of experience in the fertilizer industry. In addition, the company has appointed independent accounting firm Kaufman, Rossin & Co. as its new auditor. In December, BioNitrogen also signed a three-year lease on new office space in Wauchula, Fla. The space will be home to the company’s Hardee County facility management team as it begins construction of BioNitrogen’s initial biobased urea plant.

Cool Planet Energy Systems appoints chief financial officer
Cool Planet Energy Systems has added Barry Rowan as executive vice president and chief financial officer. Rowan brings the company more than 30 years of experience in building and turning around sizable technology companies in a variety of industries. Prior to joining Cool Planet, Rowan served as executive vice president and chief administrative officer for Vonage Corp., where he contributed to a comprehensive financial and operational turnaround at the company, resulting in significantly increased shareholder value. Rowan has also served as executive vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer at Nextel Partners.  He is expected to begin his role at Cool Planet on Feb. 15.

Novi Energy appoints new executive
Novi Energy has added Robert Zeldenrust as vice president of business operations for Novi Energy and general manager of the Fremont Community Digester, a $22 million anaerobic digestion project in Fremont, Mich. In his role at Novi Energy, Zeldenrust will help the company develop new energy infrastructure projects, including biomass, biogas and natural gas combined-cycle power projects. Before joining Novi Energy, Zeldenrust served as senior manager of North Center Cooperative, a Wabash, Ind.-based agricultural cooperative. The Fremont Community Digester will convert 100,000 tons per year of organic waste into 3 MW of renewable electricity.

NYSERDA, Forest Service join Wood Stove Challenge
The Next Generation Wood Stove Design Challenge has picked two major sponsors. The New York State Energy Research and Development Agency is making a $35,000 grant to support testing the stoves in the design challenge. In addition, the U.S. Forest Service has become the first federal government agency to ensure and support the competition, which will be held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C., Nov. 4-10. The wood Stove Challenge is modeled after the Solar Decathlon and is drawing teams from all over the world to see who can build the cleanest and most efficient wood stove that is still affordable to the average American family.

Cardia wins contract to supply biobased bags in China
Australia-based Cardia Bioplastics Inc. has announced an exclusive annual supply contract with the Shanghai Pudong City District in China. Under the contract, the company will supply an estimated $1.2 million worth of its trademarked Biohybrid renewable kitchen waste bags to approximately 20 percent of the households in the region on an annual basis. The contract was awarded after a successful six-month trial of Cardia’s products, which was completed in 2012.

BTEC names 2012 Biomass Thermal Champion
The Biomass Thermal Energy Council has named Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., as its Biomass Thermal Champion of 2012. Shaheen was selected to recognize the years she has spent advocating for the inclusion and parity of biomass thermal energy for heating, cooling and combined-heat-and-power in federal energy programs and legislation. One of her most recent efforts was successfully requesting the U.S. Energy Information Administration include biomass fuel in its annual Winter Fuels Outlook report.

Oregon to implement phase 1 of Clean Fuels Program
In December, the Oregon Environmental Quality Commission voted to begin implementation of the state’s Clean Fuels Program, which is similar, but not identical to, California’s Low Carbon Fuel Standard. Phase one of the program requires entities that produce fuel in Oregon, or import it into the state, to register and report to the Department of Environmental Quality the volumes of fuel they provide within the state. During the second phase of the program, which is not currently  being implemented, regulated parties would be required to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions associated with the fuels they provide by 10 percent when compared with 2010 baseline levels.

Biomass power plant to open at Georgia paper mill
Green Power Solutions will open a biomass-fueled power plant in Laurens County, Ga. The project is the culmination  of more than 18 months of collaboration between Beasley Forestry Products and Land Care Services. The facility has received approval from the Georgia Public Service Commission and will be located at an existing paper mill that was recently purchased by SP Fiber Technologies LLC. The planned capital expenditures will allow Green Power Solutions to provide steam required for the paper mill’s daily operation, and also generate 56 MW of electricity to feed the grid. The company will provide base load power, which will be sold to Georgia Power Co. under a 20-year power purchase agreement.

Conditional use permit approved for California plant
The Placer County Planning Commission in California has approved a conditional use permit for a proposed 2 MW biomass power plant, which will be located near Lake Tahoe, Calif. The Cabin Creek Biomass Facility will use a gasification technology to convert locally sourced woody biomass into power. The project includes the construction of an 11,000-square-foot building and a 1-acre fuel storage area. Once operational, the facility will take in forest thinnings that have traditionally been burned in open piles. The project is being developed by the county as part of its Wildfire Protection and Biomass Utilization Program.