Northeast Biodiesel is a 3.5 million gallons/year recycled cooking oil biodiesel production facility which in it's first year will start production at 1.75 million gallons/year. Northeast Biodiesel will be owned by the 550 members of Co-op Power and the employees of Northeast Biodiesel. Community ownership of Northeast Biodiesel insures that the jobs and the fuel will stay local and benefit our communities. We are using recycled cooking oil because, according to the EPA, recycled cooking oil is one of the best options for reducing carbon and sulfur emissions in fuel. Our fuel will be used to heat homes and provide transportation all over the Northeast! To learn more visit the website.
Biodiesel will reduce our use of nonrenewable fossil fuels that are causing climate change and polluting our air, water, and food. First, according to the Califonia’s Air Resource Board, biodiesel from recycled cooking oil reduces carbon emissions by 86% (as per Chapter 2.6, page 476 of this EPA report). Second, the plant will be locally owned, which will keep our money in our local community instead of funneling profits out of our region. Third, the plant will increase our energy security, by providing a local supply of transportation and heating fuel. Fourth, the plant will provide 14 quality careers our region.
It has taken a long time, but sometimes good things take a while. Co-op Power could have built the plant in 2005 with venture capital but they turned it down, and good thing they did because the terms offered wern't aligned with Co-op Power's Commitment to long term stewardship of local renewable resources. Hundreds of Co-op Power member families own and control this biodiesel plant and we'll be able to steward this resource in our community for generations.
Since 2005 much has been accomplished. The land was purchased in the Greenfield Industrial Park. The building was built. The tanks and processor were purchased and installed in the building. Northeast Biodiesel is getting to the end of this long road and when they're done, they'll have invested $4.5 million, including $3 million from our cooperative. We finished building the plant in April of 2016 and we'll finish commissioning and launch in the summer of 2017.
The wholesale recycled oil and yellow grease companies will supplement our local recycled vegetable oil network while it grows.
Franklin Community Energy Co-op, Hampshire Community Energy Co-op and Southern Vermont Community Energy Co-op worked together to build Northeast Biodiesel. Co-op Power Members own 60% of the plant. Local investors own the other 40%.
What is Biodiesel?
We are also working setting up the systems to allow you to help us grow our network of restaurant contributing their oil to Northeast biodiesel. Please visit our member restaurants to show your support. We are also getting the systems set up have your Community Energy Co-op set up in your county.
You Can Participate!
1) Northeast Biodiesel is majority owned by Co-op Power and its members. You can join Co-op Power - investing your member equity in the plant now - and get discounts on biodiesel soon.
2) You can help sign on your favorite restaurants and cafeterias to sell their used cooking oil to Northeast Biodiesel.
3) You can join Co-op Power's heating oil buying group and help us make bioheat affordable and available to everyone.
4) Form an on-road biodiesel buying group with 5-8 friends (based on the Sacramento Biodiesel Distribution Network model).
5) You can join the B100 Pioneers who will work together to adjust their heating oil systems and diesel vehicles to take straight biodiesel, learning from communities in Europe and Canada who have figured out how to do that year round.
6) You can encourage your school bus fleet, town vehicles, and local businesses to use biodiesel.
7) You can volunteer at Co-op Power and Northeast Biodiesel to support ongoing development efforts.