Biomass plant could power
construction of a power plant in Thurmont that
would save money for the town and benefit the
environment at the same time may be right
around the corner if William Rodenberg has
anything to do with it.
At the most-recent Thurmont Economic
Development Council meeting, held Nov. 21,
Rodenberg, owner of Energy Management
Strategies, Inc., shared his “Vision for
Thurmont’s Energy Future,” which involves the
building of a large power plant that would use
biomass to create the power.
Employing reliable and proven technology,
Biomass, such as wood chips or animal
droppings, would be broken down using
anaerobic respiration or other methods to
produce the electricity which could then be
distributed to the town or possibly sold to
By using biomass as a power source, the town
would no longer need to use fossil fuels,
which would stabilize the current price of
electricity because the cost of electricity
would no longer rise with the market.
In addition to saving the town money in the
long run, the plant would have a zero carbon
footprint, Rodenberg said, as it would use
renewable biomass for fuel, which will remove
over 150 million tons of CO2 from the
Furthermore, the building of the plant would
lure new business and jobs to Thurmont due to
the stable energy prices, Rodenberg said.
While Rodenberg said there are companies
interested in the plant, finding the money to
fund the plant is a main obstacle standing in
the way of the project. There are places to
get the funding for the plant, which would
cost an estimated $40 – $50 million to build,
through grants or loans but getting the money
takes time and involves a great deal of work.
Rodenberg is currently working with the
Maryland Energy Administration to acquire a
grant, which he hopes to have sometime between
the end of the year and April 2008.
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