I think it’s interesting to observe how the existing industry who effectively provide jobs and make things that people use (“timber industry”) is often referred to pejoratively..”corporate logging interests.” Or people using firewood for energy; it’s really fairly invisible to the national discussions. However, new uses of wood for energy apparently have a different filter applied, for example this story.
Also this is in the business section; it’s interesting the reporting includes no environmental groups saying “removing dead lodgepole trees for corporate energy interests comes with serious risks to the environment.”
Cool Planet Energy Systems confirmed Wednesday that it will relocate its headquarters to Colorado and build a manufacturing plant that could help convert the state’s numerous dead trees into gasoline.
“We are homing in on a headquarters location in Greenwood Village,” Cool Planet CEO Howard Janzen said.
The company is also looking in the Aurora area for a manufacturing plant that will build microrefineries able to produce about 10 million gallons a year out of organic waste.
Janzen said hundreds of jobs could be created, but he didn’t give a specific number. But in April, the company applied for $3.1 million in state tax credits in return for bringing 393 jobs to the metro area in five years.
The California startup, located in Ventura County, claims to have developed a way to cost-effectively generate gasoline out of plant waste or biomass using energy-efficient chemical and mechanical processes.
Cool Planet has financial backing from Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, General Electric and others.
“Cool Planet is on the cutting edge of advancements in alternative fuels, and this expansion into Colorado brings them one step closer to making their clean fuel available to anyone who drives a car,” said Wesley Chan, a general partner at Google Ventures.
Chan, who attended the news conference at the Colorado State Capitol on Wednesday, said Google employees have been testing the fuel in the company’s fleet.
Cool Planet doesn’t use food-based items such as sugar beets or corn, eliminating the food-or-fuel trade-off that is an issue with some other biofuel processes.
The char left after fuel is created can be used as a fertilizer, and the entire process removes more carbon from the atmosphere than it generates, the company said.
Janzen said Cool Planet is working with local university and federal researchers on ways to use the state’s beetle-kill trees as a fuel source and then apply the char to strengthen the forest soil and prevent erosion.
Gov. John Hickenlooper said all the deadwood is contributing to wildfires that burn so hot that they prevent forests from regenerating as they normally would after a fire.
Of Cool Planet’s plans, he said, “We couldn’t be happier.”
Maybe the 4FRI contractors need to approach Google Ventures, BP, ConocoPhillips, and General Electric.
And they did get approved for the tax incentives here:
“We are pleased to welcome Cool Planet to Colorado and the Denver South region. The innovation and technology that Cool Planet embodies are driving Colorado’s economy,” said Mike Fitzgerald, President and CEO of Denver South Economic development partnership. “We are very pleased that their leadership has recognized the many benefits that Colorado offers companies, including our location, highly-skilled workforce and collaborative business climate. We are delighted they are
coming and will do everything possible to help ensure their success” The company has been approved for $3,094,928 from Colorado’s Job Growth Incentive Tax Credit for the creation of up to 393 new jobs over three years.