WALNUT, Calif., March 31, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- VIASPACE Inc. (OTCQB: VSPC) today announced that the St. Croix government has approved Tibbar Energy's permit to build a 7-megawatt biogas power plant on the island of St. Croix. The government approved the permit on Tuesday evening, March 25, 2014 during a meeting at the Virgin Islands Port Authority.
The final approval came from the Virgin Island Department on Planning and Natural Resources' Division of Coastal Zone Management (CMZ). The CMZ decision was the last step that Tibbar Energy needed in order to begin construction on its 7-megawatt biogas power plant which will supply electricity created from VIASPACE Giant King Grass to the Virgin Island Water and Power Authority (WAPA) for at least the next 25 years.
Tania Tomyn, Tibbar Energy CEO, stated, "Tibbar is thrilled about building its renewable energy plant on St. Croix. We will provide 7 megawatts of base load power for WAPA for the next 25 years from Giant King Grass grown on the island. Tibbar is required to begin producing power by December 2015 pursuant to the power purchase agreement. WAPA has no other base load renewable power source and Tibbar's project will allow WAPA to be compliant under the Renewable Portfolio Standard.
Tibbar's general contractor will begin site work as early as May or June and the expected schedule is 18 months for both the farming operations and the biogas plant. The project should create more than 150 jobs during construction and 35 permanent jobs."
Mary Eckard, President of the St. Croix Chamber of Commerce, was quoted, "The St. Croix Chamber of Commerce is elated to hear of the creation of 150 construction jobs and 35 permanent jobs on the island of St. Croix at a time when our economy sorely needs jobs. We are also very excited and supportive of anything that can meaningfully and immediately reduce our cost of energy on the island of St. Croix."
Tomyn concluded, "I am proud to be a resident of St. Croix and take part in developing a green energy source that will reduce power costs, create jobs and is independent from fossil fuels.''
Tibbar is also providing 1,000 bales of hay for the Virgin Island Department of Agriculture for small farmer's livestock throughout the territory. In addition to the electricity power production, the power plant design process will produce hundreds of tons of quality organic fertilizer per year. Tibbar has agreed to provide this organic fertilizer to the Department of Agriculture and to local farmers at no cost. Last July 2013, Tibbar executed with WAPA a 25 year Power Purchase Agreement with a 5 year extension option for $0.245/kwh and at the same time executed an interconnection agreement. The entire project is carbon neutral and represents the Caribbean's first continuously renewable, green energy, biomass power plant.
VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, "We have come a long way in a relatively short time frame with Tibbar Energy to use VIASPACE Giant King Grass as a dedicated, renewable, green energy crop for biogas electricity production on St. Croix. We are proud of this partnership and extend our warmest congratulations to Tibbar for achieving the final CMZ approval to start construction of their 7-megawatt biomass power plant. We are excited to show the world how well this renewable green energy power plant works to create base load, 24/7 electricity using Giant King Grass while simultaneously creating local jobs and organic fertilizer. We have the 24/7 alternative energy solution for any tropical island nation desiring carbon neutral freedom from more expensive imported fossil fuels. VIASPACE and Giant King Grass can make a giant difference for a greener world and we intend to accomplish that objective with economic benefits to our partners and shareholders."
About VIASPACE Inc.
VIASPACE grows renewable Giant KingTM Grass as a low-carbon fuel for clean electricity generation; for environmentally friendly energy pellets; and as a feedstock for bio-methane production and for green cellulosic biofuels, biochemicals and biomaterials. Giant King Grass is a proprietary, high yield, dedicated biomass energy crop. Giant King Grass when it is cut frequently at 4 to 5 feet tall is also excellent animal feed. The USDA granted approval for planting Giant King Grass throughout the US and cooperates in exporting by performing the required inspections and issuing the phytosanitary certificate needed for import into foreign countries. Giant King Grass is being grown in California, Arizona, Hawaii, St. Croix Virgin Islands, Nicaragua, South Africa, China, Myanmar and Pakistan. For more information, please go to www.VIASPACE.com or contact Dr. Jan Vandersande, Director of Communications, at 800-517-8050 or IR@VIASPACE.com.
SOURCE VIASPACE Inc.