ASU to apply for Energy grant - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

ASU to apply for Energy grant

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By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

ALBANY, GA (WALB) – Albany State wants Albany to become a frontier for energy projects and innovation.  They're working on a grant that could lead to millions of dollars for a co-generation plant.   It would work along with the landfill gas to energy plant already under construction between Dougherty County and the Marine Base.

It's amazing how much waste we produce everyday.  Waste that can be captured to create energy, like our trash, which creates methane, and is now being converted to electricity to help run the Marine base.  ASU Professor Dr. K.C. Chan said, "Now who would have imagined the landfill can be so useful?  It could be."

And professors at Albany State say it could be even more useful.  The 800 acre site would be perfect for soaking up a little sunlight.  Chan said, "Don't forget, we have a lot of sunshine, too.  You know what I mean.  When you go outside for five minutes.  There is a lot of sun energy that we are not harvesting."

And other things that are harvested, like peanuts, or timber, have their own by-products, biomass that can be converted.  "If you look around," said Chan, "it's green everywhere.  We have a lot of biomass and we should be able to take advantage of that."

Albany State is applying with the Department of Energy for a five to seven million dollar grant to help build a co-generation plant.  It would create research opportunities for the university and could create job opportunities to the community. 

Commissioner Chuck Lingle said, "I think this is going to be a growing trend.  Already we've got a lot of biofuel institutions around the country, one right down the road here and I think of necessity, we're going to have to develop that aspect."

The Dougherty County commission signed off on a letter of support to apply for the grant Monday, which doesn't obligate them later on.  It only allows ASU to explore the opportunity further.

The Marine Base is also sending a letter of support for the grant application.     If Albany State is awarded the grant, a 20% match is required either through private or public dollars.


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