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Raleigh green startup to generate electricity from food scraps

A Raleigh green energy startup has signed its first commercial contract to build a facility that will turn 120 tons of food scraps a day into electricity.

Orbit Energy, founded in 2004, said this week it signed a 15-year agreement to sell renewable electricity to National Grid, a power company in New England.

Orbit CEO Anwar Shareef said his company has plans for 15 similar facilities across the country, including one in North Carolina scheduled for construction later this year.

The company is negotiating a power purchase agreement with Duke Energy for a 4.8 megawatt plant near Charlotte, Shareef said. The project was approved by the N.C. Utilities Commission last year but still requires an air emissions permit from state environmental regulators.

Raleigh green energy firm plans garbage-fueled power plants

Orbit Energy, a Raleigh alternative energy company, is planning its second power plant in the state that will convert food and animal waste into a flammable gas that can be used as a substitute for natural gas to generate electricity.

The company plans to build the small power plant by Dec. 31 in Charlotte, just south of the Charlotte Douglas International Airport, according to Orbit's registration statement with the N.C. Utilities Commission and issued today on the agency's web site.

Orbit's $12 million facility will use a process called anaerobic digestion to convert organic waste into a biogas. The fuel source will come from waste food from grocery stores, restaurants and food processing plants, as well as paper and cardboard.

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