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Ohio Energy Park: The possibilities are endless

February 26, 2013
By KIM LOCCISANO - Times Leader Staff Writer , Times Leader

CADIZ - Harrisville native Don Cullen is ecstatic about the possibilities for employment creation and the related renewable energy developments he expects to see emerge in the immediate future locally as a result of efforts to bring a unique group of business resources and commercial renewable energy and related businesses together in one location: the Cadiz-Harrison County Industrial Park.

The core goal of those business interests expected to have a presence in the Ohio Energy Park in Cadiz will be a focus "totally on waste to clean energy" and renewable energy; technologies capable of producing electricity; current and future fuels - the so called "next generation."

While referring to the project's structure as a park may be seen an unexpected description, in this effort it amounts to the collective community of energy wise businesses with a focus on reducing waste through renewable energies.

Article Photos

T-L Photo/ROBERT A. DEFRANK
Ohio Energy Park held a demonstration of a waste processing induction heat machine which converts raw materials into oil. The owners claim the innovative use of technology will produce processed coal that will save coal plants the need for costly upgrade. The manufacturing should also bring hundreds of additional jobs. John Callagher, managing partner of Genex Renewable Fuels, is pictured.

The foundation of the idea rests in the constantly evolving sector of renewable energies.

Cullen decided to bring this project to his hometown area where he expected it would be supported in the short and long term for a number of reasons: all of them positive.

Reasoning behind his decision includes a clear appreciation for the creation of quality jobs, the unique appreciation of the role of the energy industries and the knowledge that developing solutions to difficult or challenging environmental related businesses are nothing new to the people and businesses of this region.

When he looks toward doing business in Harrison County he saw people willing to not only see the value of traditional energy ventures, but of that to be found in the innovative approaches as well.

Cullen's formula for success for this project is precise in definition but also flexible in nature and is something he describes as focused on job creation opportunities supported by possibilities accessed through efforts to make something cleaner than it had been and to involve aspects of reclamation in the process.

Ohio Energy Park plans to begin operation this year at the Cadiz-Harrison County Industrial Park.

"This is the first energy park where we have combined coal technology with municipal solid waste, household waste and have even been able to add in tires and other forms of biomass," shared Cullen.

It is also anticipated that the various technologies which will eventually be located in the park will have purposely synergistic relationships.

Not long ago community leaders joined Cullen and other members of Ohio Energy Park LLC, Nex-Gen Renewable Fuels and Energy-Inc. to view a heat induction apparatus capable of converting waste and raw material into biofuel. According to those close to the project it produces a gas that would be condensed into oil for market.

A full operation at this site should be seen later this year, according to John Gallagher, managing partner of Gen-nex Renewable Fuels.

He anticipates it will not take long to see the scaleable machine begin to be in wide demand. The machine is transportable, meaning it can be moved and in operation in relatively quick fashion and the resulting oil product is clean and environmentally sound. Gallagher's operational plans have been well received by local waste industry business entities who see the broad potential the machinery's operations in the local region will bring.

One of the biggest positive aspects expected to be present at the Ohio Energy Park in Cadiz is the technology which will process or "re-mine" previously mined coal refuse - have it come out the solution end of the process as uniform briquettes to be sold to power plants as a material which will meet new EPA stack and ash emission mandates but will not force the costly aspects of increasing stack cleaning equipment.

The resulting product will then be sold to local power plants as a means of continuing to burn coal, but it is a much cleaner coal product than what is currently used.

A big part of this coal oriented process is its ability to process coal refuse that previously has had to be dealt with as landfill, or in a slag pond.

"This will also make it possible for the reclamation of the properties that had previously had little use other than to serve as a home to a slag dump.

The idea being to make it possible for power plants to continue to operate, and also to - over time - make it possible for them to be operated with a resource that is an already cleaner coal product that has been combined with an environmentally friendly binding agent such as certain types of sawdust.

Loccisano can be reached at kimfromthetl@gmail.com

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