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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

ReVenture 'evolves' again; community meeting Thursday

Posted By on Tue, May 24, 2011 at 10:31 AM

Mecklenburg County's Land Use and Environmental Services Agency and Forsite Development issued press releases late yesterday announcing that the company has ended its quest to obtain your trash, which it planned to sift for valuable recycleables then feed to its gasification/incinerator hybrid at the so-called ReVenture eco-industrial park to generate energy.

This news followed the company's decision to limit the plant to 10 megawatts of electricity generation because, Forsite President Tom McKittrick said, "The utility company we are negotiating with has informed us that their appetite for purchasing the renewable energy from ReVenture has been reduced."

Read the company's press release here. Note: "The utility" is Duke Energy, and, in general, it prefers to generate its own electricity, renewable or not.

And, the press release here is from the county. It also talks about asking the county to halt plans for a $100,000 independent study of the project and officially take Ballantyne's Foxhole landfill off of the table as a potential dumping site for the project. Of course, nothing is official until it's actually official, and the county isn't slated to vote on these matters until June 7.

This announcement is just in time for a community meeting, which will be held Thurs., May 26, at 7:30 p.m. The meeting will be held at Cooks Presbyterian Church on Mount Holly Huntersville Road.

Some questions the attendees may want to consider:

If ReVenture is only going to run a 10 megawatt energy facility, but not with Mecklenburg County's trash, where will the fuel come from?

The company has discussed using waste streams from businesses, specifically apartment complexes, to fuel its energy plant. Is that option still viable?

If the leftovers, including ash, aren't going to be trucked to the Foxhole landfill, where will they go?

Can the plant still expand to 80 megawatt, as originally planned?

Does a 10 megawatt plant mean less regulation and less oversight?

Will the electricity generated by the plant be sold or used to power the industrial park?

Will environmental and health-impact studies be conducted?

What does this mean on the job-creation front? The plan was to bring in the plant's designers from Kansas to run it for its first five years of operation; is this still the plan?

And, does this mean plans for the rest of ReVenture Park are going to evolve, too?

While the trash-to-energy plant has people concerned, and rightfully so, there are a lot of other parts of the proposed industrial complex that people may be excited about. Check out its "master plan."

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