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Arterran Renewables named as one of the top 15 smart grid companies to watch in 2015
Renewables like wind and solar have made strides in supplementing some of the world's power supply, but have not yet been able to compete fully with coal's less expensive, on-demand qualities due to cost and intermittency issues. In the biomass field, as producers of a sustainable solid biofuel to replace thermal coal, Arterran's renewable biofuel can be made from manure, wood waste, municipal solid waste, or any suitable source of cellulose to produce a carbon neutral solid biofuel with an energy density far superior to common wood pellets and comparable to the highest grades of coal.
Six years ago, the company underwent a shift in focus. The researchers had been working with liquid biofuels, but the economics of the products and processes never worked out quite right. So the researchers took what they had learned, shifted the focus and applied it to solid biofuels. The successful result is Arterran biofuel.
Smart Grid News likes the fact that the biofuel has been independently tested and verified by three leading energy labs who confirmed energy contents of 10,000 to 12,000 Btu/lb -- a 30 percent to 50 percent better energy density than wood pellets at a cost that is competitive with either wood pellets or coal.
As a drop-in replacement for coal, Arterran biofuel is a viable alternative. Industry data says that it costs approximately $600,000 per megawatt hour of capacity for a coal-fired power plant to switch to wood pellets or biomass. As a drop-in replacement, Arterran biofuel does not require such costly modifications to existing coal-fired boilers.
Solving the world's climate change issues is a worthy, if not lofty, goal. Consider that, worldwide, more than 2,300 coal-fired power plants produce 29 percent of the world's electricity creating 44 percent of global CO2 emissions.
Beyond being a drop-in replacement for coal in existing coal-fired infrastructure,Smart Grid News recognizes Arterran for providing a means to decentralized the grid by creating regional community energy projects, and reducing line loss, while creating green jobs and green energy, toward a sustainable future.
But those aren't the only reasons why Smart Grid News likes Arterran Renewables. It's also about the company's "humble" beginnings. The company's founder, Lloyd Davis, describes the leadership team as "a bunch of humble researchers. Chemistry, Physics, System Integration, and a few 'where the rubber hits the road' kind of people who share a passion for the environment."
"Our leadership starts with HR (human resources) and flows from there," Davis explained to Smart Grid News. "If you hire the right people and surround yourself with motivated individuals that have common vision, leadership becomes easier."
We couldn't agree more. With the right people and the right ethic, great things can be achieved.