Sale of methane carbon credits could help local economy
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
MADISON — The methane gas generated by trash at the Rockingham County Landfill could help boost the local economy.
The Rockingham County Business & Technology Center has launched a program, named BizFuel, to capture and incinerate the gas and sell the resulting carbon credits to provide seed money for economic development. The methane gas is produced through the decomposition of food waste and other organic matter.
The carbon credits will be sold to companies looking to reduce their carbon footprints.
"They want to say that we're gonna buy these credits that other people are doing from a renewable energy standpoint that I can't put the money into myself, the millions of dollars that it would cost me to put in a renewable energy source," said executive director of the center Mark Wells.
Wells expected the sale of the credits to generate $100,000 a year for the center's economic development programs. The programs are aimed at supporting business and putting people back to work.
"One is a virtual farmers market called piedmontlocalfood.com,” said Wells. “We also right now have just received approval for a venture or loan fund for local entrepreneurs."
Wells applauded county commissioners for agreeing to put all of BizFuel's profits into economic development.
"That's a major issue for this county that's had for about the last two to three years the highest unemployment rate in the Piedmont Triad,” said Wells. “That's an enormous vote of confidence."
Wells believed the project had the potential to help jump start the local economy, changing signs from “space available” to read "open for business."
"We want to be able to support entrepreneurs the best we can,” said Wells. “Sometimes having some extra capital that perhaps the banks or even venture capitalists or angel investors won't invest we want to be able to kinda bridge the gap."
Plans also call for installing a methane-powered generator that would produce electricity for sale to Duke Energy. Wells said the sale could result in about $250,000 a year to support the center's economic development programs.