Just to keep you all “in the loop”, I may very well be in the running for a chunk of the Stimulus Package in regards to rural development/renewable energy/sustainable agriculture grants. I have begun the application process in conjunction with several local organizations that requested proposals based on our ideas. The front runner is for a grant to fund the start-up for a CSE business focused on producing small scale energy centers (gasifier+greenhouse) as well as a commercial version of our gasifiers. The business would be located in a 5-10 acre facility whose grounds would be holistically planned (duh!) and use willow coppice for the windbreaks of 8, .5 acre garden plots that would be farming incubators for graduates of local sustainable farming education programs (pay it forward!). Those plots would also form the test beds to determine the amount of biochar ag land can take and its effects.
The structure itself would be comprised of a gasifier powered workshop which would include ethanol and biodiesel production, manufacturing capabilities for several dozen gasifiers annually, a half dozen or more energy centers, as well as equipment to produce 20 tons of pellets annually. Additionally, the south side of the workshop would be a gasifier heated aquaponics greenhouse that would also house the solar drying still for the biomass crops. The facility would have a strong outreach component focused on seminars and workshops on liquid and solid biofuel production, aquaponics, permaculture, sustainable ag and gasification as well as anything else someone wants me to talk about.
This is all happening VERY fast, but these ideas have been “shovel ready” for about a year now so the ramp up is do-able. Switching from welding burn plates to crafting business plans is throwing my brain into fits, but it beats watching sitcoms for sure.
I have no idea where this will go, but it sure is fun!
Thanks in advance for all the good energy… if I make it to the State review level I will be asking for you to call you Congressman!