Awards to Boost Renewable Energy Projects
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Department of Natural Resources grants totaling more than $734,000 to investigate the feasibility of innovations in renewable energy projects.
Tom O'Conner, owner of a private environmental firm in Columbia, H2O'C Engineering, felt his business' efforts to help achieve cleaner environment had paid off. The H2O'C received $50,000 as a subgrant from Energize Missouri Renewable Energy Study. The fund will support the research of the fate of sewer fat, oil, and grease (FOG) and the possibility of locating green diesel conversion technology where FOG is available with emphasis on the Kansas City and St. Louis metropolitan areas.
Employee of H20'C John O'Conner was excited about the grant. He said that the study would be hard without the impetus because private businesses would be hesitant to conduct the investigation.
"The significance of the study is the possibility to reduce the cost of converting the waste substance in sewer into something that may be beneficial to a lot of people. We can turn the greases into bio-diesel," O'Conner said.
Another winner of the grants in Columbia is the Tatanka Resources, an environmental consultant. It will use $49,730 to determine the availability and application of grassy biomass to coal fired power plants for electric generation.
A $40,000 subgrant to MU's Power Plant will enable the facility to try out its solar heating system. MU hopes to increase the energy efficiency by bringing down its coal consumption with the project, together with a reduction in carbon dioxide emission.
"We have seen a great potential of the renewable energy use in Columbia and we are very proud that we are the pioneer in the green technologies," Gregg Coffin, the superintendent of the power plant said.