The Franklin renewable energy company Enexor BioEnergy is rolling out a miniature power plant fueled by organic waste.
Enexor’s power plant fits inside a 20-foot shipping container and takes about a day to install. The company claims it can convert almost any organic waste—including food waste, agricultural waste, sawdust, paper, wood chips, animal waste and spent grains—into energy.
The power plant burns the fuel, which turns turbines that produce electricity.
The company calls its power plant a small scale system. It produces about 75 kilowatts of power and about 125 kilowatts of heat. Over the course of a year a power plant of that size could provide electricity for about 60 average American homes.
Multiple shipping container sized systems can be linked together to produce much more power. The company says the small power plants can also be integrated easily with intermittent sources of power, such as solar and wind.
The system gives off a significant amount of heat as well, which could be used to produce hot, cold or desalinated water.
Enexor plans to start installing the power plants for customers in the U.S. during the second quarter of this year, then hopes to expand to markets in the Caribbean, Asia, Africa and Europe.
The shipping container is sturdy, built to withstand hurricane-force winds and high humidity.
Instead of selling the units, customers will simply borrow the power plant and Enexor will charge them for the electricity it produces, which would eliminate upfront costs for customers.
That’s important because, in addition to hotels, shopping malls and apartment buildings, Enexor hopes to use its system to provide power for the one billion people who currently don’t have access to electricity.
Enexor says it already has a significant backlog of customers who want the new system. It takes about 10 days to manufacture each container. All units are currently manufactured in Franklin, but the company is working on setting up manufacturing facilities in Asia and Africa.