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Aug. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that it will present options for clean, renewable, biomass power plants fueled by Giant
King Grass to U.S. Department of Defense officials and to representatives of islands and isolated communities at the Asia Pacific Clean Energy Summit to be held in
Honolulu, Hawaii on September 9–11, 2013. The Summit program includes U.S. Department of Defense Opportunities and Programs, and the Summit is held jointly with the Islands and Isolated Communities Congress. VIASPACE will exhibit at the Defense Energy and Islands Solutions Showcase.
VIASPACE CEO Dr.
Carl Kukkonen reports that: " 'Grow Your Own Electricity', the VIASPACE slogan that summarizes our approach, is directly applicable to many U.S. military bases and to islands and isolated communities that need clean, reliable and renewable electricity. Many of these bases and islands depend on imported oil to produce their electricity. Not only is oil expensive and is associated with high carbon dioxide emissions, the logistics of delivering oil is complicated and has the potential of interruption during military conflict. Protecting the oil supply lines also requires significant military forces."
In addition to the security benefits of "Growing Your Own Electricity", a Giant King Grass fueled power plant is responsive to the Defense Authorization Act of 2007 which was enacted under a Republican administration and Republican Congress that mandated that the military "produce or procure not less than 25 percent of the total electric energy it consumes during FY2025 and thereafter from renewable energy sources." This policy has been continued under the current Democratic administration and appears to have strong bipartisan support.
Kukkonen continued, "A biomass power plant provides reliable, 24/7, clean and renewable electricity and complements the intermittent electricity from solar and wind. Biomass can be grown on or near the military base or island and stockpiled for security. It can be used day or night to produce electricity. However, Giant King Grass is a tropical and subtropical biomass platform that is not suitable for freezing climates and requires sufficient rainfall or irrigation. Therefore it is an ideal solution for places like
Puerto Rico, the southern U.S. and other warm regions or tropical island locations. In these areas, Giant King Grass can be a very attractive solution to providing green electricity at a fraction of the cost of diesel fuel or bunker oil."
As an example, consider the state of
Hawaii which has the highest electricity rates of any U.S. state because their electricity is mostly generated from imported oil.
Hawaii electric rates range from
$0.40 per kilowatt hour depending on the cost of oil. This is two or three times the cost of electricity on the U.S. mainland. Giant King Grass produced electricity would be much less expensive.
Kukkonen reports, "There are two reliable ways to generate electricity from Giant
King Grass. You can use direct combustion or anaerobic digestion which produces biogas. Direct combustion power plants for Giant King Grass range in size from 7.5 MW to 35 MW. Anaerobic digestion power plants are suitable for smaller applications and range from approximately 0.5 MW to 7.0 MW. The Giant King Grass grown on 200 acres of land can produce enough fuel for a 1 MW biogas power plant. This is enough electricity to provide essential electrical services of lighting, television and a small refrigerator for more than 6,000 families in a remote community. Growing the Giant King Grass also provides local community jobs bringing additional benefits to the local economy. For a military base with air conditioning and a lot of electronic equipment, the electricity use will be larger and require a larger biomass power plant. If the base or the neighboring community has the land and water for growing Giant King Grass, this may be a very good option."
Previously VIASPACE announced that Giant King Grass has been released from quarantine by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) for distribution in the United States.
Hawaii, however, has additional plant import rules, and the Giant King Grass is being grown in a facility under the purview of the Hawaii Department of Agriculture.
Kukkonen reports, "Giant King Grass is growing well in the quarantine facility in
Hawaii. It is in a screened room with a translucent roof to let in a little sun. The Hawaii Department of Agriculture staff waters Giant King Grass on our schedule. They now report that the Giant King Grass has grown very tall and is hitting the roof which is over 12 feet high. We soon plan to cut the Giant King Grass and let it regrow. By the end of the quarantine period in December this year, it should be hitting the ceiling again."
King Grass is grown at the VIASPACE nursery in
California which has been inspected by the Department of Agriculture. The process for obtaining Giant King Grass to grow in a foreign country is for that country to issue an import permit that lists the inspections and any treatment requirements under their regulations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture inspects the Giant King Grass and supervises any required treatment and then issues a phytosanitary certificate that accompanies the shipment from
California and it is presented to the authorities in the importing country. With this process, the U.S. Department of Agriculture certifies the Giant King Grass is safe and does not present any pest or disease problems to the importing country.
Kevin Schewe, VIASPACE Chairman, concluded: "Giant King Grass has been successfully exported to and is growing in St. Croix in the
South Africa and to other countries. We at VIASPACE are extremely busy at this time meeting with new and existing international and U.S. clients and simultaneously examining the expansion of our core business model and platform approach to using Giant King Grass. With its impressive high yield per acre of land and rapidly growing body of third party testing data, we believe that we are just now 'scratching the surface' of the total, potential economic value of Giant King Grass. We are committed to show the world that you can 'Grow Your Electricity' and use Giant King Grass as an incredibly versatile biomass platform for green, renewable economic growth."