Moab high school develops Blue Sky-funded biomass energy facility

Published on May 13, 2016 by Daily Energy Insider Reports

The Grand County School District of Moab, Utah announced the development of a biomass alternative energy generation plant on Monday that uses vegetable oil for fuel, supported by the donations of Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky project and other contributors.

The facility can generate up to 60 kilowatts of power from the vegetable oil waste of local restaurants. Discarded oil has been a difficult waste to handle for the community, and the new biomass facility will help address the issue while providing an environmentally friendly, green fuel for the high school district.

“We are grateful to our Blue Sky customers for contributing to new ways to provide clean energy here in Utah,” Doug Bennion, vice-president of Rocky Mountain Power engineering services and asset management, said. “This is a groundbreaking project that takes waste and makes it useful again. It also demonstrates to students and community members how this exciting new technology protects the environment.”

The facility is expected to supply 45 percent of the power for Grand County High School, projected to save the school $20,000 to $25,000 in utility expenses each year. Program directors hope to expand the capacity of the facility to support 150 kilowatts of power, which would save the district between $50,000 and $60,000 each year.

Blue Sky Customers contributed $125,000 to the project to date, and may still donate to support the ongoing development of the facility at $1.95 per month. Rocky Mountain Power’s Blue Sky program helped Moab become the first Environmental Protection Agency Green Power community in the nation.