Viaspace signs feedstock contract for bioelectricity in California

Viaspace, a grower of energy crops, has signed a contract with Mesquite Lake Water and Power to provide Giant King Grass for a biomass-fired power plant and biofuels facility in the US state of California.

Mesquite Lake is developing a biomass energy park in Imperial Valley. It has already purchased an 18MW biomass power plant, which was damaged during a 2010 earthquake. Following repair works, the facility will be fuelled with a combination of wood waste and Giant King Grass.

Rodney Williams, a managing member of Mesquite Lake, says: 'Another part of the energy park will be the Mesquite Lake cattle manure power plant, which is also closed at this time. It was designed to gasify cattle manure and produce 16MW of electricity. We plan to convert this facility to produce advanced biofuels using the dedicated energy crop Giant King Grass as the feedstock. The Imperial Valley has ideal weather for Giant King Grass and there is plenty of water for irrigation.'

Viaspace CEO Carl Kukkonen adds: 'Giant King Grass is a C4 plant which means that it thrives in hot weather as long as it has water available. We expect to be growing in Imperial Valley very shortly.'

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