SC Firm To Test Commercial Viability of Algae-based Biofuel Process at Former Textile Dye-Manufacturing Site
Later this month if all goes as planned, Renewed World Energies (RWE), an alternative energy development company based in Georgetown, S.C., will throw the switch on what it claims will be the world’s first commercially-viable, closed system, automated microalgae production facility in Forsite Development's ReVenture 'eco-industrial' park.
RWE said its "Algae Photo Bioreactor" can be a source of affordable biofuel by turning algae into transportation fuel as well as biomass feedstock and other commercial uses. The firm said it will deploy its technology as part of the closed-loop waste integration system used by tenants of ReVenture Park, the former 667-acre Superfund site along the Catawba River.
With the financial backing of Aventura Equities, Inc., an Illinois-based investment firm that acquired a majority interest in Renewed World Energies in 2010, the firm plans to use its patent pending systems to create different strains of algae that will be utilized to create everything from transportation fuel to health supplements. The initial facility is expected to be operational Sept. 30th, 2012.
Billed as Charlotte’s first Eco-Industrial Park focused on the research and creation of green energy technologies, the former textile dye manufacturing facility includes more than 500,000 square feet of existing industrial space
, rail access and multiple electric sub-stations and transmission lines throughout the property. Also, an existing 360-million gallon containment pond is available for waste water reuse.
"We are pleased to have struck a deal to have RWE move a facility to ReVenture. RWE was attracted to the sites extensive existing infrastructure which they can utilize, and there are multiple opportunities for us to collaborate," said Tom McKittrick, president of Forsite Development, in a statement announcing the agreement.
RWE claims that algae is a renewable resource that grows rapidly and its production has little to no impact on the world’s food supply. The firm has produced algae oil and algae cake, which can be fed as a food supplement to livestock or as fish feed. It said that algae by-products has numrous other uses, from pharmaceutical products and cosmetics, to eco-friendly fertilizer.
McKittrick started Forsite in December 2004 to acquire and reposition vacant corporate surplus industrial facilities throughout the Southeast U.S. and has purchased more than 5.2 million square feet throughout the Carolinas. He came to the Charlotte area in July 2001 to open Indianapolis-based Lauth Property Group’s first regional office.