Chocolate maker Lindt USA and Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH), New Hampshire’s largest electric utility, will soon be producing renewable power from cocoa bean shells. PSNH’s Schiller Station power plant will produce supplemental electricity from cocoa bean shells, considered a biomass fuel source in New Hampshire, supplied by the chocolate maker, according to a press release.
Using cocoa bean shells as a fuel source was first tested by PSNH in March 2009 and is now officially being implemented following approval from New Hampshire’s Department of Environmental Services. The burning of biomass reduces carbon dioxide emissions that would have been emitted through the burning of fossil fuels, say the companies.
Every ton of cocoa bean shells used to generate electricity will replace the need to burn one half-ton of coal, which also helps the utility reduce a portion of its coal-producing power with biomass, says PSNH.
Lindt says the partnership will allow the company to reduce its carbon footprint by responsibly disposing of a manufacturing byproduct.
Lindt’s biomass partnership is one of many that are being planned or have rolled out over the past month. As an example, Tesco announced that its new distribution center in Widnes, England, will be 100-percent powered by renewable energy generated from food waste.
Other projects include an on-site biomass-fueled combined heat and power (CHP) energy station at the University of British Columbia campus, and a potential partnership between Mitsubishi and Weyerhaeuser, which are evaluating the potential of biomass and possibly bio-pellet production facilities in the U.S.