- A renewable energy project at the Knott Landfill in Bend, OR may be put on hold as Waste to Energy Group Inc. struggles to begin its construction by the August deadline.
- In a Jan. 2014 agreement, Deschutes County commissioners approved a proposal by California-based Waste to Energy Group Inc. to convert the landfill's natural gas waste into liquid fuel. The county gave a deadline of Aug. 3 for Waste to Energy Group to being construction, allowing them 18 months to find the $20 million needed to fund the project. So far, the funding has not been completed, therefore the company has yet to break ground.
- If Waste to Energy Group can at least prove their financial backing by Aug. 3, the county will likely offer an extension for the construction, according to Deschutes County's Solid Waste Manager Timm Schimke. If the company cannot find the money to cover the project's expenses, there is a chance that the deal will become void.
Although waste-to-energy projects — such as the proposed one at Knott Landfill — have an abundance of benefits, the cost of these projects create an overwhelming obstacle for companies such as Waste to Energy Group. While financial institutions across the market will invest in these projects, they will not do so without support of a site with planning permission, adequate technology, a reference plant, and security of waste input.
"We’ve been looking at a gas-to-energy project for a long time,"said Schimke. "What we’ve found is that our landfill is relatively small and with the arid climate we have, it doesn’t crank out the kind of gas in which developers line up to do something." Yet, Waste to Energy Group's proposal details a recycle conversion process that will speed up waste decomposition to create methanol and ethanol, both of which are profitable on the market. Due to the company's unique process and lucrative potential, the county is being particularly patient with Waste to Energy Group — despite its struggle to stay within deadlines.