BY KEVIN GRIFFIN email@example.com Hickory Daily Record
Posted: Thursday, June 9, 2016 4:36 pm
NEWTON – A new lease agreement between Catawba County and Apple will allow for the construction of a renewable energy facility that harnesses landfill gas.
The lease, approved by the Board of Commissioners on Monday, provides Apple with about 3.7 acres on the Blackburn Resource Recovery Facility in Newton.
Apple’s renewable energy facility will use treated methane from the landfill to create electricity using fuel cells.
For the first five years, the annual rent owed to the county will be $1,500 per acre, for a total of $5,569.50 per year, according to the lease.
From the sixth year onward, the rent price will fluctuate based on changes in the Consumer Price Index for the South Region, but will never go below $1,500 per acre.
The lease lasts for 16 years with an option to go five years longer.
In a separate Landfill Gas Sales Agreement with Quadrogen Power Systems, Inc., the county agreed to sell about 40 percent of its landfill methane. Quadrogen will treat the methane for use in the Apple facility.
The gas will be sold to Quadrogen at a rate that ensures the county will receive at least the same amount of money it would if the county sold the electricity from the gas.
The rest of the gas will be used by the county for electricity.
The county uses three Jenbacher engines to produce electricity from the methane.
Entering into the agreement with Apple helps the county in a number of ways, County Attorney Debra Bechtel said.
“There are absolutely no county tax dollars involved in this, there are no dollars out of the solid waste enterprise fund that are being involved. In fact, all the county is getting out this are benefits,” Bechtel said.
The lease also will allow the county to avoid buying another engine in the near future, as well as give the county a role in producing clean energy.
“We’ll be able to say we were involved in hopefully developing the next great energy source that is clean and safe for citizens across the entire country," Bechtel said.