Logo courtesy of the North Carolina Green Business Fund.

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From the North Carolina Department of Commerce, shared April 27:

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Logo courtesy of the North Carolina Green Business Fund.

RALEIGH – Secretary Keith Crisco today announced that 16 North Carolina small businesses and organizations will receive awards from the North Carolina Green Business Fund, totaling $4,580,686.45. These projects will result in a total of approximately 35 jobs being created or retained.

“Encouraging investments in the green economy is a centerpiece of our job creation strategy,” said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco. “This fast-growing industry holds vast potential for the future and we must continue to support its development in North Carolina.”

The Fund, created by Gov. Bev Perdue in 2007, is administered by the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology. This is the fourth round of grants awarded by the Fund which has given out approximately $8 million in grants.

Today’s grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act via the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program (SEP). Grants were awarded after a competitive review process, including qualification under federal Department of Energy funding criteria.

PROJECT DESCRIPTIONS
Editor’s note: Descriptions of the Buncombe County projects were moved to the top of this list for emphasis.

BioWheels, Inc. (Asheville, Buncombe County): $375,852.56
Install solar-supported electric vehicle charging stations; partner with community and non-profit organizations in Western North Carolina to educate consumers on the use and availability of electric vehicle charging stations.

Community Development Specialists, Inc. (Asheville, Buncombe County): $149,480
Install six small wind turbines and seven small solar thermal demonstration systems on local food producing farms in the 10 21st Century Communities in Western North Carolina, in partnership with Green Brothers Solar, and provide renewable energy installation training as part of each installation. The total amount of renewable energy generated by the installations will exceed 28,000kwH (kilowatt hours) annually.

Black Farms (Bunnlevel, Harnett County): $295,130
Generate electricity from swine waste as a demonstration project in rural North Carolina. The electricity will be used to offset energy usage at the farm and excess energy will be sold back to the grid. This project is anticipated to generate 2,750 MBTUs (million British Thermal Units) of energy annually.

Butler Farms (Lillington, Harnett County): $373,780
The Butler Farms project will install a ground-mounted biogas-to-energy system at Butler Farms, a swine farm housing over 7,000 hogs in 10 barns. The lagoons are two of only six covered swine waste lagoons in North Carolina. This project is anticipated to generate 3,502 MBTUs of energy annually.

Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (Wilmington, New Hanover): $155,000
Educate consumers about energy-efficient retrofits, Home Star, demonstration of cost savings after retrofitting, and provide info to consumers about making retrofits more affordable. The Alliance plans to schedule at least two speaking engagements per week, host public workshops about retrofits, and exhibit at festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences throughout the duration of the grant.

Energy Tight (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County): $222,466
Provide education and awareness of the benefits of energy retrofits to the private residential homeowner; provide retrofits based on a personalized home energy audit, that are customized to middle class and luxury homeowners to reduce energy use, increase comfort and improve indoor air quality; measure and quantify energy performance for a year after the retrofit.

Essential Energy Efficiency Technologies & Services (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County): $55,000
Conduct sizing of electrical motors in industrial and commercial AC systems in central North Carolina. Recommend motor retrofits for better energy efficiency. Track the number of demonstrations and retrofits.

Go Green Lighting (Chapel Hill, Orange County): $300,000
Train a minimum of 350 volunteers to provide energy audits and critical information to business owners regarding available incentives to adopt energy efficient technologies. The volunteer “task force” will consist of professional employees of electrical contractors, lighting distributors, audio/visual distributors and lighting consultants.

Kyma Technologies (Raleigh, Wake County): $427,760
Install a geothermal HVAC system and improve lighting efficiency on a facility that supplies crystalline gallium nitride (GaN) materials. GaN materials are needed to support increased electrical efficiency in commercial applications, including: light emitting diodes (LEDs) and power electronics for power management in factories, the electric grid, hybrid- and all-electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind power. These measures will reduce energy usage by a targeted 30 percent.

Microcell Corporation (Raleigh, Wake County): $484,120
Install 10 1.0 kW fuel cell units with hot water heater/space heater capability at a variety of North Carolina locations with its partner – North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation and its member electric cooperatives to replace inefficient, air polluting, and noisy portable diesel and gas fired generators.

North Carolina State University, Center for Marine Sciences and Tech (Morehead City, Carteret County): $228,519
Install and demonstrate a small hybrid photovoltaic-wind system to power pumps and heat water for aquaculture tanks in NC businesses. Projected energy generation is 21,500kWh annually, which will be used to offset energy usage at the Marine Aquaculture Research Center facility.

Onslow County Farmers Market Inc (Jacksonville, Onslow County): $24,095.89
Install 30 solar panels on the roof of the farmer’s co-op association and track energy generation. When installed, the solar panels would produce energy enough to operate 17 fluorescent lights, four ceilings fans and a proposed cistern pump with which to irrigate the horticultural garden and a solar power learning exhibit.

Praxis Technologies Inc. (Raleigh, Wake County): $247,304
Install 19 Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in strategic areas around North Carolina; promote awareness of electric vehicles and availability of charging stations.

Southern Energy Management, Inc. (Raleigh, Wake County): $374,129
Conduct energy audits for at least 60 existing houses and small commercial buildings. Complete at least 15 performance-guaranteed energy efficient retrofits using proven methods and state-of-the-art technology.

Storms Farms (Bladenboro, Bladen County): $500,000
This project will capture methane from an existing swine farm housing about 4,900 hogs in four barns. Lagoon covers and a ground mounted biogas-to-energy system will be installed. The power interconnect equipment will enable the use of the electrical energy on-site and to sell excess power to the Four County Electric Membership Corporation. Monitoring instrumentation will allow for real time data collection and web posting of the energy performance at the project. The energy generated from this project is expected to exceed 10,000 MBTUs annually.

Vestal Farms (Kenansville, Duplin County): $369,050
This project will install a ground mounted biogas-to-energy system at Vestal Farms in Duplin County, which houses a feeder-to-finish hog farm with over 9,700 hogs. Waste from the hog barns flows into a two-stage waste treatment lagoon. The first stage of the treatment lagoon is one of only six covered swine waste lagoons in North Carolina. This project is anticipated to generate 5,000 MBTUs of energy annually.

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Green Business Fund Awards $4.6 Million for Renewables and Energy Efficiency Projects

 

RALEIGH –Secretary Keith Crisco today announced that 16 North Carolina small businesses and organizations will receive awards from the North Carolina Green Business Fund, totaling $4,580,686.45. These projects will result in a total of approximately 35 jobs being created or retained.

“Encouraging investments in the green economy is a centerpiece of our job creation strategy,” said Commerce Secretary Keith Crisco.  “This fast growing industry holds vast potential for the future and we must continue to support its development in North Carolina.”

The Fund, created by Gov. Perdue in 2007, is administered by the North Carolina Board of Science and Technology.  This is the fourth round of grants awarded by the Fund which has given out approximately $8 million in grants.

Today’s grants for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects were funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment act via the U.S. Department of Energy State Energy Program (SEP).  Grants were awarded after a competitive review process, including qualification under federal Department of Energy funding criteria.

Project Descriptions:

Biowheels, Inc (Asheville, Buncombe County) – $375,852.56

Install solar-supported electric vehicle charging stations; partner with community and non-profit organizations in Western North Carolina to educate consumers on the use and availability of electric vehicle charging stations.

Black Farms (Bunnlevel, Harnett County) — $295,130.00

Generate electricity from swine waste as a demonstration project in rural North Carolina. The electricity will be used to offset energy usage at the farm and excess energy will be sold back to the grid. This project is anticipated to generate 2750 MBTUs of energy annually.

Butler Farms (Lillington, Harnett County) –$373,780.00

The Butler Farms project will install a ground mounted biogas-to-energy system at Butler Farms, a swine farm housing over 7,000 hogs in 10 barns. The lagoons are two of only six covered swine waste lagoons in North Carolina. This project is anticipated to generate 3502 MBTUs of energy annually.

Cape Fear Green Building Alliance (Wilmington, New Hanover) – $155,000.00

Educate consumers about energy-efficient retrofits, Home Star, demonstration of cost savings after retrofitting, and provide info to consumers about making retrofits more affordable. The Alliance plans to schedule at least 2 speaking engagements per week, host public workshops about retrofits, and exhibit at festivals, fairs, conventions, conferences throughout the duration of the grant.

Community Development Specialists Incorporated (Asheville, Buncombe County) — $149,480.00

Install six small wind turbines and seven small solar thermal demonstration systems on local food producing farms in the ten 21st Century Communities in Western North Carolina, in partnership with Green Brothers Solar, and provide renewable energy installation training as part of each installation. The total amount of renewable energy generated by the installations will exceed 28,000kwH annually.

Energy Tight (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County) — $222,466.00

Provide education and awareness of the benefits of energy retrofits to the private residential homeowner; provide retrofits based on a personalized home energy audit, that are customized to middle class and luxury homeowners to reduce energy use, increase comfort and improve indoor air quality; measure and quantify energy performance for a year after the retrofit.

Essential Energy Efficiency Technologies & Services (Charlotte, Mecklenburg County) — $55,000.00

Conduct sizing of electrical motors in industrial and commercial AC systems in central North Carolina. Recommend motor retrofits for better energy efficiency. Track the number of demonstrations and retrofits.

Go Green Lighting (Chapel Hill, Orange County) – $300,000.00

Train a minimum of 350 volunteers to provide energy audits and critical information to business owners regarding available incentives to adopt energy efficient technologies. The volunteer “taskforce” will consist of professional employees of electrical contractors, lighting distributors, audio/visual distributors and lighting consultants.

Kyma Technologies (Raleigh, Wake County) –$427,760.00

Install a geothermal HVAC system and improve lighting efficiency on a facility that supplies crystalline gallium nitride (GaN) materials.  GaN materials are needed to support increased electrical efficiency in commercial applications, including: light emitting diodes (LEDs) and power electronics for power management in factories, the electric grid, hybrid- and all-electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind power. These measures will reduce energy usage by a targeted 30%.

Microcell Corporation (Raleigh, Wake County) – $484,120.00

Install ten 1.0 kW fuel cell units with hot water heater/space heater capability at a variety of North Carolina locations with its partner – North Carolina Electric Membership Corporation and its member electric cooperatives to replace inefficient, air polluting, and noisy portable diesel and gas fired generators.

North Carolina State University, Center for Marine Sciences and Tech (Morehead City, Carteret County) – $228,519.00

Install and demonstrate a small hybrid Photovoltaic-wind system to power pumps and heat water for aquaculture tanks in NC businesses.  Projected energy generation is 21,500kWh annually, which will be used to offset energy usage at the Marine Aquaculture Research Center facility.

Onslow County Farmers Market Inc (Jacksonville, Onslow County) – $24,095.89

Install thirty solar panels on the roof of the farmer’s co-op association and track energy generation. When installed, the solar panels would produce energy enough to operate 17 fluorescent lights, 4 ceilings fans and a proposed cistern pump with which to irrigate the horticultural garden and a solar power learning exhibit.

Praxis Technologies Inc. (Raleigh, Wake County) – $247,304.00

Install nineteen Electric Vehicle (EV) charging stations in strategic areas around NC; promote awareness of electric vehicles and availability of charging stations.

Southern Energy Management, Inc. (Raleigh, Wake County) – $374,129.00

Conduct energy audits for at least 60 existing houses and small commercial buildings. Complete at least 15 performance-guaranteed energy efficient retrofits using proven methods and state-of-the-art technology.

 

Storms Farms (Bladenboro, Bladen County) – $500,000.00

This project will capture methane from an existing swine farm housing about 4,900 hogs in four barns. Lagoon covers and a ground mounted biogas-to-energy system will be installed. The power interconnect equipment will enable the use of the electrical energy on-site and to sell excess power to the Four County Electric Membership Corporation.  Monitoring instrumentation will allow for real time data collection and web posting of the energy performance at the project.  The energy generated from this project is expected to exceed 10,000 MBTUs annually.

Vestal Farms (Kenansville, Duplin County) – $369,050.00

This project will install a ground mounted biogas-to-energy system at Vestal Farms in Duplin County, which houses a feeder-to-finish hog farm with over 9,700 hogs. Waste from the hog barns flows into a two-stage waste treatment lagoon. The first stage of the treatment lagoon is one of only six covered swine waste lagoons in North Carolina. This project is anticipated to generate 5000 MBTUs of energy annually.

Kathleen O'Nan

Kathleen O'Nan is a contributing reporter to Carolina Public Press.

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