Biodiesel plant breaks ground in Mass.

By Bryan Sims | July 13, 2010
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Posted Aug. 3, 2010

Northeast Biodiesel LLC and Co-op Power held a groundbreaking event for the construction of a 3.5 MMgy biodiesel plant in Greenfield, Mass. Led by majority shareholder Co-op Power, the cooperative effort invested $2.5 million into the development of the plant.

"The two key factors enabling us to move forward now are technology changes permitting production of biodiesel at smaller scales and the patience of our investors," said Larry Union, president and chief executive officer of Northeast Biodiesel LLC. The company will initially install a single 1.75 MMgy processing unit with plans to add an additional unit by 2012.

The facility, which will exclusively use recycled vegetable oil from local restaurants for the production of biodiesel and home heating oil, is expected to be in full operation by January 2011, according to Lynn Benander, chief executive officer of Co-op Power and board chairwoman for Northeast Biodiesel LLC.

"I know we're going against the grain right now given the state of the industry without the producer tax credit," Benander said, "Northeast Biodiesel is a community-owned recycled oil biodiesel plant that will bring significant benefits back to our community – environmental, economic and social."

Co-op Power is a member-owned cooperative founded in 2005 to create community-owned renewable energy across the Northeast. With 375 members, Co-op Power applied $135,000 of its $300,000 member equity coffers towards the development of the biodiesel project while leveraging $1 million from 24 investors.
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