COLUMBUS COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Monday night, Columbus County commissioners requested Gary Lanier the county's economic director to work with Columbus Renewable Energy and get more information on a co-generation facility, the company wants to open.
The proposed project would come to the county's landfill, which has been sitting vacant for years. The county would not have to pay anything for the renewable energy plan.
The county's economic director, Gary Lanier said if he has his way, the county will create a co-generation facility that will use tree limbs and leaves to make renewable energy.
"We generate over a million green tons of waste that's left in the field to rot every year," Lanier said. "It would take about 200 green tons of that, those limbs that are left behind to rot to generate ten mega watts of electricity from this renewable fuel source."
The county is already capturing gas and using it to make small amounts of electricity. But Lanier said that's not creating jobs. He believes getting a co-generation facility would bring jobs.
"If we create 15 jobs with the co-generation facility, that in itself is going to create jobs in the logging industry because they would provide the wood chips, which means more jobs at logging industry locally," he said.
He said the facility would also create waste steam and heat. Lanier said that would entice greenhouse operators.
"One of the highest expenses in a greenhouse operation is heating your greenhouse in the winter," Lanier said.
Lanier said the "big sky project" would also keep the county from having to burn storm debris.