VIASPACE winning approvals for 7-MW St. Croix biogas project

VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) said June 26 that it is making progress on the Tibbar Energy project, which is a 7-MW biogas power plant on the island of St. Croix.

The power plant will supply electricity to the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for at least the next 25 years.

The Tibbar Energy project was issued a Virgin Island Department on Planning and Natural Resources’ Division of Coastal Zone Management (CMZ) final permit for construction on April 2. The public comment period for the air permit ended on June 23. That permit request has now been submitted to the Department on Planning and Natural Resources and should be finalized soon.

On June 23, the Public Services Commission (PSC) held a public meeting on St. Thomas where Tibbar Energy and WAPA together asked for final approval of the agreements between WAPA and Tibbar including the 25 year (with five-year option) Power Purchase Agreement executed last July and the Interconnection Agreement to the power grid. That approval was granted by the commission.

Tibbar Energy was also approved by the U.S. Virgin Islands Government Employee’s Pension Fund (GERS) for a $15m loan.

Tania Tomyn, Tibbar Energy CEO, said: “We are pleased to report that the project is moving through its final permitting stage and design. We expect our Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) contractor to start construction this Fall. Tibbar will be using local contractors to build the project under Layne Christensen, our EPC. The project will have a significant impact on the USVI by providing the first base load renewable energy project that is independent of imported fossil fuels.”

VIASPACE Chairman Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, “Our project with Tibbar Energy to use Giant King Grass as a dedicated, renewable, green energy crop for biogas electricity production on St. Croix is moving ahead as planned and this is very exciting for all parties involved, including VIASPACE and its shareholders. The $15 million dollar loan approved by the US Virgin Islands Government Employee’s Pension Fund is particularly encouraging and speaks of the strength and commitment to the Caribbean’s first carbon neutral, continuously renewable, green energy, biomass power plant.”

VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. GiantKing Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass energy crop.

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.