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Turning Urban Waste into Electricity

14 November 2010 No Comment

By Helen Kaiao Chang

Company name: Bull Moose Energy, LLC

Founder and President: Amanda Martinez

Year Founded: 2005

Based: Otay Mesa

Number of employees: 30 in 2008 in Otay Mesa

Funding: public and private investors

Revenue 2006: None

Revenue 2008: “It’s gonna be good,” said Martinez.

What they do: Build plants that turn urban waste into electricity.

The company focuses on building biowaste plants in city centers and urban areas. “We’re taking waste from the city and using it to make power in that area,” said Martinez.

Unlike current wood-fired plants, which are big and dirty, Bull Moose Energy uses an advanced thermal-combustion technology, resulting in a smaller and cleaner facility. These plants use the city’s wood waste, which are heated in a boiler, generating steam that powers electricity turbines. “This is extremely efficient, so you use less waste to produce more power,” said Martinez. “Instead of all this waste going to landfill, we’re taking useable byproducts and turning it into power.”

Urban plants also save on transmission costs and pollution, said Martinez. “That means that as everyday rate payers, we don’t have to pay for (electricity) coming over on a line – like from Imperial Valley or L.A. – and energy is lost.”

“The more we can produce here in San Diego, the better it is for our community,” she said.

Main project: The company’s Otay Mesa facility has a contract with SDG&E. It will produce 20 megawatts, for 13,000 homes a year, starting in 2008.

Other projects: The company is developing projects to build biowaste plants in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Texas, and elsewhere in Southern California.

How she got started: Martinez began her career raising capital for entertainment industry projects. She later raised capital for a biofuels company in Imperial Valley, where she serves as director. Last year, she started a new company focusing on biomass in urban areas.

Philosophy: “I wake up everyday with a passion to do this. I could not think of something I want to do more than this. It sounds cheesy, but we can really make a difference. We can take everyday things that people discard and turn it into power.”

Business Vision: “I decided to focus on the urban biomass business, because that’s where my passion is. These byproducts in our own area can be produced for energy,” said Martinez. “That’s where the market needs to be moving. It’s a hole in the marketplace that needs to be filled.”

Web: bullmooseenergy.com

Follow Helen on Twitter @HelenChang
This article is part of a Green Energy series. Related Articles:

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