VIASPACE's Tibbar Energy USVI customer has reported that required permits will be in place by February 2015 for the 7MW Grass power plant on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands.

Construction is scheduled to begin in second quarter of 2015.

The 7-megawatt anaerobic digestion biogas power plant will provide the only base load renewable electricity in the USVI. The majority feedstock is VIASPACE Giant King Grass. Tibbar will sell power for 25 years with an additional 5 year option to USVI Water and Power Authority (WAPA).

Tania Tomyn, Tibbar Energy CEO, stated, "We will have all of our pre-development permits in place. It’s been a long and busy three years of hard work developing the farms, the engineering for the biogas plant and working with so many great suppliers and advisers around the world, and the different agencies of the US Virgin Islands government–we would not be here without them. Now the fun part starts when we actualize and begin construction. The Giant King Grass nurseries are ready to be transplanted to the new farms once cleared and irrigation is installed. The project should start construction second quarter of 2015. Our agriculture team likes the results from the Giant King Grass that has been growing on the island for over two years now and they see how well it fits in the US Virgin Islands as a tropical perennial grass for energy production."

Tomyn continued, "Our project is a balance of agriculture and power production and is all carbon neutral. The Tibbar project is a very significant job creator and clean energy production project that will tremendously benefit the people of the US Virgin Islands. In addition, we will also be a major water reclamation project for the USVI. Our agricultural irrigation comes from a secondarily treated effluent that is currently being discharged to the ocean. Now this water can be reused for non-food crops, as the EPA recommends. We recover water that would be lost, reduce power bills by 4 to 5% to the Virgin Islander ratepayers and create a lot of jobs. This is where energy sector should be."

VIASPACE Chairman, Dr. Kevin Schewe, commented, "VIASPACE and our partner, Tibbar Energy, have mutually shared a vision to construct and implement the Caribbean’s first carbon neutral, base load, green/renewable electric power plant on the island of St. Croix. We have been pursuing this vision at a time of unprecedented global warming, with 2014 being documented as the warmest year of global record keeping. Using continuously renewable and high-yielding Giant King Grass to create electricity through an anaerobic digestion biogas power plant is a green energy answer and solution to realistically reducing continued high carbon emissions from burning fossil fuels."

Dr. Schewe concluded, "We are proud of the progress that Tibbar Energy has made on St. Croix. We believe that the successful implementation of this project will be widely recognized as establishing green, renewable energy leadership in the Caribbean region and will open many new doors for similar projects. We hope that it will create a "Caribbean green energy tsunami" that sweeps the region over the next decade and establishes global leadership for renewable, carbon-neutral, green energy projects in tropical and subtropical destinations."