Blue Sphere provides biogas project updates

By Anna Simet | December 02, 2016

As of mid-November, Blue Sphere’s 5.2-MW biogas plant in Charlotte, North Carolina is connected to the grid, and all three generators are now operating, the company recently reported.

The facility will now enter the mechanical completion, feedstock ramp-up and commissioning phases of the project, which include gradual feedstock intake from suppliers, increasing  biogas production and power generation, and commissioning of the wastewater and digestate treatment systems. The project should take about three to four months before fully operational and operating at its nameplate capacity, according to Blue Sphere.  Power generated at the plant is being sold to Duke Energy.

Blue Sphere also recently provided an update of 3.2-MW, Johnston, Rhode Island plant, stating that its EPC contractor—Auspark LLC, the U.S. subsidiary of Austep Group—is going through the phases needed to bring the facility to the testing and commissioning phase. “During the few last weeks, the Auspark team of engineers and subcontractors have been completing key elements of construction while preparing the facility for testing, commissioning and, ultimately, the commencement of operating activities,” Blue Sphere stated. “The Auspark update stated that the facilities' weighting station has been installed and connected, the large reception building has been equipped with the Austep proprietary patented pretreatment equipment, primary construction of the biopulper, hot digesters and cold digester are all complete, installation of the membrane for the gas holder is complete, assembly of the piping circuits necessary for the heat exchangers is complete, the biogas line is complete, and the construction of the safety torches is complete.”

The parasitic load connection [was] scheduled for Dec. 1, and the cold commissioning of the engines were to begin shortly thereafter, according to Auspark.

Power generated at the Johnston plant is being sold to National Grid under a 15-year power purchase agreement. "We are very excited for the Rhode Island facility to be entering into this phase of development especially with winter about to arrive in the northeastern U.S.,” said Blue Sphere CEO Shlomi Palas. “We have been working very hard with all of our partners including the Austep Group to see this facility take shape, and we further look forward to the day when we see this amazing asset become fully operational."

In a Nov. 21 shareholder update letter, Palas said the company intends to become a listed company on a major stock exchange and is taking the steps necessary to achieve this goal, but there is no set date as to when it may occur. “There are many factors that will lead us to this point and we will evaluate each and proceed accordingly in the best interests of our shareholders,” he said.