Reading time: 2 minutes 02/14/2012 Press Releases

Biofuel Facility in Southport, NC Installs Solar Power and Hybrid Windmills

WILMINGTON, NC, February 14, 2012 – Alganomics, LLC, Southport, NC based leader in culturing algae for biomass, installed in cooperation with the region’s leading solar company, Cape Fear Solar Systems, LLC, a photovoltaic solar system to offset energy used during the process of culturing algae for biofuel. With the aim to add new alternative energy sources to the renowned tubular photo bioreactor processes, a 4.8 kW solar electric system and hybrid windmills were installed at the algae culturing plant located at Oak Island’s Wastewater Treatment Facility.

Implementation of this unique project was possible thanks to a 2009 NC Green Business Fund grant award. This funding source was a conversion from State of NC funds to Federal American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (ARRA) Stimulus funds for conserving energy, utilizing renewable sources and reducing the carbon footprint. “Creative applications of renewable energy will keep North Carolina in the forefront of innovation for biofuels development and environmental remediation. We are very appreciative to have the opportunity to showcase North Carolina’s vision by teaming with such NC organizations as the Biofuels Center and the Dept. of Commerce,” states Dr. Kimberly Jones, Founder and CSO of Alganomics. The solar system mainly saves energy needed for fluid circulation during the biomass creation process. The hybrid windmills, installed by R.L. Jones & Sons Construction, LLC, feed compressed air into the photobioreactors.

Wilmington, NC based Cape Fear Solar Systems designed and installed the photovoltaic system that will generate over 7 Megawatts (MW) of electricity per year. “With the increased awareness of its benefits and the recent reductions in panel prices, solar is finding its way into projects that would not have otherwise used alternative energy a few years ago,” points out John Donoghue, President of Cape Fear Solar Systems.

The solar electric system consists of twenty SunPower™ 240 watt panels from their E19 series, which is the highest efficiency and performance available on today’s solar market. The SunPower panels deliver a total panel conversion efficiency of 19.3% and produce more power in the same amount of space: up to 50% more than conventional designs and 100% more than thin film solar panels. “Solar is enjoying a widespread increase in demand and the combination with the installation of the hybrid windmills makes this project truly extraordinary,” comments Donoghue.

A significant influence in this project is the Town of Oak Island that formed a collaborative partnership with Alganomics back in September 2008 to demonstrate an algae culturing system on the site located at the Oak Island Biological Treatment and Water Reuse Facility. By allowing this project to be supported with the installation of the two renewable energy systems, the Town of Oak Island supported the aim of reducing the Planet’s carbon emission.

The realization of this project was possible due to the solid partnerships between Alganomics, Cape Fear Solar Systems and Brunswick Electric Membership Cooperative (BEMC), The Board of Science & Technology, under the NC Dept. of Commerce, and NC GreenPower. “The support of all these organizations for green energy adoption in our region is more than obvious and sends a clear message to the public, showing the current trend,” expresses Dr. Kim Jones. “Our mission at Alganomics is to make a significant difference in our community, state, and nation by becoming more environmentally responsible and sustainable within the biofuels industry, and this project is certainly supporting our goal,” Jones concludes.

Cape Fear Solar Systems | Photovoltaic System | Southport, NC

Cape Fear Solar Systems | Photovoltaic System | Southport, NC

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