Green Energy Harvesting
For many years, we spent much time and considerable dollars working with our designer and manufacturer, developing and initially testing an ingenious, proprietary technology (unlike anywhere else in the world) to mulch, collect, and bale vast amounts of renewable biomass material with a single mechanical process. What made our venture so compelling was that there is an almost unlimited supply of the raw biomass material – fast regenerating, forest undergrowth, debris and treetops from timbering operations, forest thinnings, etc. In fact, the Southeastern United States has one of the heaviest concentrations of these forest materials in the world; and to prevent and/or control forest fires as well as promote healthy growth within silviculture operations, the understory needs to be cleared/thinned every several years. Failure to manage these areas can result in disastrous fires like those seen in California, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, and Florida. Private land owners, timber companies, State Agencies (Division of Forestry and Fish and Wildlife Services), and Federal Agencies (U.S. Forest Service and Dept. of Defense) spend hundreds of millions of dollars each year (anywhere from $200 to $2,000 per acre) on dozer work, mowing, clearing, spraying and/or burning their vast acreages of pine plantations and silvicuture lands. And, because of these costs and associated risks, similar groups partnered with us to immediately start relieving some of their burden related to their vast land management expenses. Much of the reason these abundant, raw materials are currently not the primary use as biomass materials is because of the extensive costs and inefficiencies associated with clearing, chipping, handling, and transporting the loose materials – in most cases it is more economical for the landowner to simply cut away the materials and leave them on the ground. Therefore, our business plan and idea contemplated not working to assist the landowner, but also delivering the biomass material/bales to the end users (water-to-energy, pellet mills, etc.). Ultimately, we had to discontinue this business due to the loss of alternative energy demand and state sponsored subsidies, due to the sharp decrease in the price of petroleum. We remain hopeful that, one day, this type of technology will be responsible for powering much of our local infrastructure.