WALNUT, Calif., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today issued an update regarding the progress of the Tibbar Energy, Giant King Grass fueled, 7-megawatt biogas power plant on the island of St. Croix. The power plant will supply clean and renewable electricity created from VIASPACE Giant King Grass (GKG) to the Virgin Island Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for at least the next 25 years.
As previously reported, Tibbar Energy was issued a Virgin Island Department on Planning and Natural Resources' Division of Coastal Zone Management (CMZ) final permit for construction on April 2, 2014. The public comment period for the Air Permit ended on June 23, 2014. That permit request has now been submitted to the Department on Planning and Natural Resources and should be finalized soon.
Additionally, on June 23, 2014, 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 5 year option) Power Purchase Agreement executed last July and the Interconnection Agreement to the power grid. That approval was granted by the Commission.
Finally, this week, Tibbar Energy was also approved by the US Virgin Islands Government Employee's Pension Fund (GERS) for a $15 million dollar 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. This 7-megawatt biomass power plant works to create base load, 24/7 electricity using dependable Giant King Grass feedstock while simultaneously creating local jobs and organic fertilizer. VIASPACE with Giant King Grass has the perfect green energy solution for any tropical island destination desiring freedom or less reliance on imported fossil fuels and we are busy proving this with Tibbar Energy on the island of St. Croix." About VIASPACE Inc.VIASPACE grows renewable Giant King TM 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. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass energy crop. Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King Grass is being grown in California, Arizona, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar, Pakistan and Guyana. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com. Safe Harbor StatementInformation in this news release includes forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements relate to future events or future performance and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, levels of activity, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Such factors include, without limitation, risks outlined in our periodic filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2013, and other factors over which VIASPACE has little or no control. SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.