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U.S. company shows interest in Elementa technology

Monday, January 20, 2014   by: Darren Taylor

Elementa Group Inc. President and CEO Jayson Zwierschke appeared before City Council Monday to thank municipal leaders for their support of his firm's waste-to-energy facility project.

Sault Ste. Marie MPP David Orazietti announced Friday that the province has reached an agreement through the Ontario Power Authority (OPA) with Elementa Group Inc. to build a new, renewable energy generating facility in Sault Ste. Marie, one that will use a non-incinerating gasification process to turn at least 12,500 tonnes of municipal waste annually into electricity.

That is expected to significantly extend the lifespan of the City's landfill site.

The electricity produced (9.5 megawatts, enough to power up 10,000 homes) will be sold and supplied to the provincial power grid by Elementa over the course of a 20-year contract between the firm and the OPA.

Details of how much the deal is worth have not been revealed.

The facility will also produce fuel for vehicles and aircraft, Elementa has stated.

Council approved yet another lease extension Monday for Elementa's facility at Fifth Line, one that will last through to April 1, 2014.

Council has granted multiple extensions to Elementa over the years while the company went through a long process of pilot project testing and requests for approval from the provincial Ministry of the Environment (MOE). 

Speaking to after Friday's announcement, Zwierschke said Elementa is still awaiting provincial granting of an Environmental Certificate of Authorization (ECA), but Zwierschke is optimistic that will come in the near future, enabling construction of the permanent Elementa facility to start by the fall of this year. 

With that in mind, Zwierschke appeared before Council Monday with Battelle Lead Researcher Dr. Steve Ricci to help gain not only another lease extension, but also Council's reaffirmation of its official support of his company's efforts.

Battelle is a Columbus, Ohio-based firm with an interest in many areas, including energy and the environment, health and analytics, laboratory management, pharmaceutical and medical devices and national security.

Ricci told Council the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre (SSMIC) first made Battelle aware of Elementa's project.

"We help inventors develop and commercialize their ideas," Battelle told Council, adding Elementa's waste-to-energy technology is "cleaner and cost-efficient…when we heard about it, our ears perked up."

Ricci said Battelle will be marketing Elementa's technology to the U.S.military as a way for it to produce fuel. 

While Elementa waits for the final bureaucratic pieces to fall into place before it builds its Sault Ste. Marie facility (with a view to going into operation in 2016), and while Council passed a resolution encouraging Battelle's involvement, Zwierschke thanked Councils past and present, MPP David Orazietti and the late Mayor John Rowswell for the support they had given Elementa over the past decade.    

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HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/20/2014 8:44:25 PM Report

Ridiculous the hoops this company has to jump through to get things moving. Big thanks to Big Oil and .gov

I don't think it's the cheapest way of producing energy (can't beat the easy oil of days gone by and free energy/zp) but compared to coal or nuke plants the pollution created is zero compared to those "clean" sources, plus it only makes sense to get rid of as much of our waste as possible rather than leave it lying around for future generations to deal with.
HowAbooutSomeLogic 1/20/2014 8:45:54 PM Report

Intellectually dishonest not to include the environmental impact of fracking for the natural gas it takes to get this thing going, I suppose but I have no idea how much of it they use and whether that is a constant or one time input...
OrganicGuy 1/20/2014 8:51:43 PM Report

I wonder if the American company will get more info about things than us consumers not in the know are getting?
sportsfan17 1/20/2014 9:54:48 PM Report

For those complaining about being a one-industry town, how is this for a bit of diversification? This could be the blessing this city is looking for. Energy production sites are the jobs of the future. Might as well get our hand into the pot early.
RocknRoll 1/20/2014 10:42:32 PM Report
pastoutla 1/20/2014 10:42:57 PM Report

What are we taxpayers paying per KWH??? or am I typing Too fast!!!
Moonshiner 1/21/2014 6:32:31 AM Report

City will pay 15 million over 20 years for elementa to process 250000 tonnes of curbside waste.It still has to be picked up and delivered to their site.At.23per kwh they will sell OPA 43.7 million dollars of electricity.The plant is said to cost55 million.Something seems not right with the values,i am only guessing at .23perkwh it must be a lot higher!.
learningaswego 1/21/2014 3:32:08 PM Report

What? you mean the energy math doesn't make sense?
from a Liberal government "Green Energy" plan???
Say it ain't so!

All we can be sure of is we're being screwed - the only questions are how, and how badly!
SomeOtherGuy 1/23/2014 8:22:24 AM Report

Isn't elementa paying the city for the municipal waste?
SomeOtherGuy 1/23/2014 8:32:01 AM Report

I think the OPA rate is around 0.15$
Therefore at full capacity running 24/7 the plant could make the following off power sales.

9500 kwhrs
*24 hrs a day
*365 days a year
*20 years
@ $0.15/kw
= $250,000,000 over 20 years or
= $12,483,000 per year

Maybe this is wrong. I dunno
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