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Tibbar Energy ????

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Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I guess people don't use as much water as they did and we won't worry about future precipitation. Cool!

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2015 4:10 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

Aw, come on Alana, you know that last comment is just lame! Sugar cane was cultivated in abundance back in the day and now the elephant grass is going to be cultivated to be used for a different purpose - but it's all cyclical. There's been nothing put forth to demonstrate that STX is in any danger of becoming an arid wasteland devoid of groundwater through its cultivation and no reason to suppose that it's going to invade massive swaths of land and that it can't be properly contained.

And now we've just had some lovely downpours and I'm going out to listen to my plants sucking it up! 😀

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Posted : April 14, 2015 4:33 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

I guess we can ignore this:

Napier, or Elephant Grass (Pennisetum purpureum) and its Invasive Potential in the VI

Gary Ray, Ph.D., Virgin Forest Restorations, 9901 Emmaus, St. John, VI 00830

Summary:
I was asked to provide my professional judgment as a plant ecologist and VI floristic expert of the risks involved in introducing a known noxious pest to the VI as a target species to produce bioenergy. In my professional opinion, there is a high likelihood that Elephant grass will become a widespread nuisance at least, or agricultural nightmare at most, once introduced here. Plant ecologists in Florida would surely corroborate this opinion.

Introduction
Napier grass, also known as Elephant grass, Giant king grass, and other monikers (Pennisetum purpureum), is a clump-forming grass that can reach 12-15 feet in height, particularly near shorelines (UFL Center of Exotic and Invasive Plants 2013; HEAR 2004). The species was introduced from Africa to Florida in the early 20th century as a
forage grass. This species is presently one of Florida’s most noxious weedy pests.

Invasive Potential
Managers of waterways in Florida are losing the battle to control or eradicate this weed in canal banks, agricultural settings, and other disturbed areas from wet to dry soils. Once established the plant self propagates vegetatively by rhizomes, stem fragments and root
crown divisions (Global Compendium of Weeds; FAO Weed Management). It has a deep fibrous root system that allows it to resist drought. In agricultural areas the plant is known to reduce yields, increase agricultural production costs, and can become a massive problems for home gardeners seeking to supplement their food budget. As the plant spreads, it can block roadside culverts, impeding channelized water flow.

Invasiveness of this species is well known in Florida, but it has only recently been seen in Puerto Rico, and plans exist to introduce it to St. Croix to produce bioenergy. Details of dispersal, establishment and ecological impacts can only be predicted Therefore, it is an “incipient” invasive exotic, with extraordinary potential to become a widespread noxious weed – its windborne seeds certain to germinate in every roadside culvert and depression with standing water across the island, then spread to other islands by any of several typical invasion pathways. Once highly invasive plant species are introduced,
there are few options for subsequent eradication as the plant spreads to unintended locations.

References:
[plants.ifas.ufl.edu]
[plants.ifas.ufl.edu]

Parsons, W.T. and Cuthbertson, E.G. (1992). Noxious Weeds of Australia. Inkata Press, Melbourne & Sydney
Information Sources:

1. Identification and Biology of Nonnative Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas –
Second Edition, by K.A. Langeland, H.M. Cherry, et al. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 257. 2008.

2. Strangers in Paradise, Impact and Management of Nonindigenous Species in Florida, Gary Ray, Ph.D., Virgin Forest Restorations, 9901 Emmaus, St. John, VI 00830
Chapter 2: Florida’s Invasion by Nonindigenous Plants: History, Screening, and Regulation, by D.R. Gordon and K.P. Thomas, pp. 21-37. Island Press, Washington, DC,
1997.

3. Integrated Management of Nonnative Plants in Natural Areas of Florida, by K. A. Langeland, J. A. Ferrell, B. Sellers, G. E. MacDonald, and R. K. Stocker. University of Florida-IFAS Publication # SP 242. 2011.

Exotic Plant Lists:
Florida Exotic Plant Pest Council – lists this species among non-native and invasive exotic plants for this region
Global Invasive Species Database – four close relatives on this list
Hawaii Ecosystems at Risk (HEAR) – listed this species as problematic in Hawaii

Gary Ray, Ph.D., Virgin Forest Restorations, 9901 Emmaus, St. John, VI 00830

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2015 4:52 pm
OldTart
(@the-oldtart)
Expert

I've read it already, I've read it already. Then answer why in this opinion it's said to propagate by windblown seeds while other articles refer to it as having sterile seeds and propagating via root system and "tuberous" means. One learned person's opinion does not a proven fact make and there seems to be some divergence of opinion in even the little I've admittedly read so far on the subject. Nor can one assume that what binds up Florida will bind up St Croix - they are two totally disparate areas.

My mind remains open.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 5:12 pm
sheiba
(@sheiba)
Advanced Member

Scary stuff!!! Seriously!!!!

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Posted : April 14, 2015 5:15 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Guess, time will tell, if it even gets off or,in this case, in the ground.

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2015 5:17 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Didn't I hear you guys in STX, recently, bemoaning the fact you've
not had much precipitation?

Everyone bemoans the lack of rain every year.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 6:14 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Aw, come on Alana, you know that last comment is just lame! Sugar cane was cultivated in abundance back in the day and now the elephant grass is going to be cultivated to be used for a different purpose - but it's all cyclical. There's been nothing put forth to demonstrate that STX is in any danger of becoming an arid wasteland devoid of groundwater through its cultivation and no reason to suppose that it's going to invade massive swaths of land and that it can't be properly contained.

And now we've just had some lovely downpours and I'm going out to listen to my plants sucking it up! 😀

Good point OT. The sugar cane acreage was also multiple times what the cane grass will be.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 6:15 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Here is a list of noxious weeds in Florida as recognized by USDA

noxious weeds

Pennisetum purpureum aka giant King grass is not on list.

I still would be interested on how much of the plant water can be retained after harvest.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 6:35 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

I think the author you cited Alana may be agenda driven. He used noxious and invasive in his summary yet it is neither according to USDA and UF.university of florida

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Posted : April 14, 2015 7:10 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Maybe you should take it up with him since he's the Ph.D/expert and he lives here in St. John. He was asked for his professional opinion and he gave it and cited his sources.

Summary:
"I was asked to provide my professional judgment as a plant ecologist and VI floristic expert of the risks involved in introducing a known noxious pest to the VI as a target species to produce bioenergy. In my professional opinion, there is a high likelihood that Elephant grass will become a widespread nuisance at least, or agricultural nightmare at most, once introduced here. Plant ecologists in Florida would surely corroborate this opinion."

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2015 9:43 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Maybe you should take it up with him since he's the Ph.D/expert and he lives here in St. John. He was asked for his professional opinion and he gave it and cited his sources.

Summary:
"I was asked to provide my professional judgment as a plant ecologist and VI floristic expert of the risks involved in introducing a known noxious pest to the VI as a target species to produce bioenergy. In my professional opinion, there is a high likelihood that Elephant grass will become a widespread nuisance at least, or agricultural nightmare at most, once introduced here. Plant ecologists in Florida would surely corroborate this opinion."

Yet it is not a known noxious pest. That is editorial.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 9:45 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Believe what you like. You usually do.

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Topic starter Posted : April 14, 2015 9:46 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

Believe what I like. I just showed you TWO sites that list noxious weeds in Florida and NEITHER has it on there. That isn't believing in what I want. That is called reading. Try it out. I'm not sold on this technology but I'm against misinformation. This "expert" is distorting the truth and you are propagating it.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 9:49 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

He didn't say it WAS an invasive species. His OPINION was that it could become one.

That differs from your earlier statement at 11:00 that it IS an invasive species in Florida.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 9:52 pm
Spartygrad95
(@Spartygrad95)
Trusted Member

He didn't say it WAS an invasive species. His OPINION was that it could become one.

That differs from your earlier statement at 11:00 that it IS an invasive species in Florida.

The "expert", I guess can't read the USDA's list of noxious/invasive species either.

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Posted : April 14, 2015 9:56 pm
Chuck C
(@Chuck_C)
Active Member

Looks like they updated the Tibbar E website saying that they have selected an operating company and got some kind of extension? It does not look like they have started construction, so it will be a year after they start construction before they attempt to start up. Given that they should have the fields planted NOW to allow the plants to grow up enough to have any meaningful volume of biomass to feed the thing? Does not look like they have done any planting? Does anyone know if they ever got the thing financed? Without a bunch of money it will never go anywhere? Amazing that they never talk about the investors? Anyone want to bet that the thing never goes????

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Posted : April 18, 2015 7:36 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Tibbar investors were on St. Croix a few weeks ago looking at facilities.

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Posted : April 20, 2015 11:37 am
Chuck C
(@Chuck_C)
Active Member

I wonder how that went? Did Tania and Aaron give them the old sales pitch?? I suspect any investor will do a little DD and once they do it will be all over for this project. Tibbar teamed up with Giant King Grass, an internet search will show how far they have gone with selling grass! Only thing holding them back is that you cannot smoke it!

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Posted : April 23, 2015 1:27 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

– The Senate Rules and Judiciary Committee met for the second day in a row Tuesday, this time to consider the Cabinet nomination of Dawn Henry for the Department of Planning and Natural Resources.

But the biggest news of the confirmation hearing came when Sen. Nereida “Nellie” Rivera-O’Reilly asked Henry to look into whether Tibbar Energy, LLC on St. Croix’s south shore “circumvented” the DPNR permitting process.

After the hearing, The Virgin Islands Consortium asked Rivera-O’Reilly if she could explain further and she said that Tibbar Energy “was granted a Coastal Zone Management major permit without the proper vetting.” Tibbar Energy is a “biomass” industry company that turns plant material into a biogas that can be sold to utility companies.

“Tibbar Energy, LLC began construction before issuance of their CZM major permit,” Rivera-O’Reilly told The Virgin Islands Consortium. “This is well-documented, even by Tibbar. DPNR staff reported to a citizen that construction costs were divided into two parts so as to be under a threshold amount, to enable Tibbar to move forward.”

Rivera-O’Reilly said Tibbar Energy compartmentalized the construction in order to qualify for Economic Development Authority funding.

“They needed to show a certain percentage of construction completed,” she explained. “This is a violation of law – putting money before environmental permitting and protections.”

http://viconsortium.com/business/nellie-tibbar-energy-avoided-dpnr-permitting-process-czm-employees-in-st-john-moonlighting-in-conflict-of-interest/

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2015 10:58 am
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

Generating energy from biomass is a mature technology and a huge industry in Europe and I don't get why people are such haters of this technology. And so what if Tibbar scheduled their construction in such a way as to benefit them? They're just doing what practically everyone else in the VI does including the government and its entities like WAPA. Didn't WAPA begin construction of its propane projects before it has Army Corp of Engineers permits and approvals? Have they even received those yet? Doubtful. Does WAPA concern itself with local DPNR or Federal Clean Air regulations. Recent fines levied suggest it doesn't.

If Tibbar can find financing and build its plant, good for them. Why pick on a little guy?

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Posted : April 29, 2015 11:38 am
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

We already have enough issues protecting our environment.
When a company or any other entity breaks the law, they should
be subject to penalties. Considering the principal's past criminal histories, having them circumvent the law, comes as no surprise.

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2015 12:20 pm
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Expert

Generating energy from biomass is a mature technology and a huge industry in Europe and I don't get why people are such haters of this technology.

It isn't the technology they hate. It is the fact that they are outsiders.

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Posted : April 29, 2015 12:51 pm
Alana33
(@alana33)
Expert

Not outsiders. Criminal histories of environmental crimes.

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Topic starter Posted : April 29, 2015 2:16 pm
vicanuck
(@vicanuck)
Expert

The definition of "circumvent" doesn't necessarily have to mean that the broke the law. It could just mean they found a creative way to work around it. Lawyers are especially good at finding ways to do this.

If I didn't circumvent laws just about every day in the VI, I'd never get anything done!

Who among us hasn't circumvented now and again...please raise your hand.

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Posted : April 29, 2015 9:05 pm
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