Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Creigh Deeds Proposes Valley Biomass Facility
Senator Creigh Deeds, on the campaign trail for Governor, has outlined his plan to make Virginia a leader in alternative energy. Deeds proposes a State initiative to invest in 3 regional bio mass facilities including one in the Shenandoah Valley for poultry and ag waste.
Deeds' plan calls for the state to invest $5 million each toward development of a switch grass facility in Southside Virginia, a poultry litter and agricultural waste facility in the Shenandoah Valley and an algae facility in Hampton Roads. You will notice that this is not about growing feed grains for energy production. He is calling for Virginia utilities to use 22% renewable energy by 2025.
I had a chance to talk with Senator Deeds during his recent visit to Harrisonburg and we talked about this research at Virginia Tech. A professor at the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences has developed a transportable process that converts poultry litter to bio oil and produces a slow release fertilizer by-product. The bio-oil production ranges from 30 to 50 percent by weight, with hardwood shavings giving a near 60% return. It is exciting research, from our Land-Grant University, with big potential for Valley agriculture, jobs, and the environment.