Our focus hasn’t shifted much since April – we are working daily on getting the Renewable Energy Approval and feedstock contract completed as they are essential to our success and we are eager to get started on building the plant.
Co-op Development & AGM
In addition to preparing for the AGM, Blair and Frances have put a lot of time and effort into a document we are calling the “Orientation Manual”, a document that lists important lessons and work processes developed over the last 18 months. The Orientation Manual is important for ZooShare’s long term success, as we could use it for future bond campaigns here and in other locations. In addition, we received 110 responses (so far) to our hefty member-survey, which closes on June 5th. The survey will give us a much deeper idea of who you are–our current supporters. This information will be invaluable if or when we decide to raise additional financing from the community.
After closing bond sales in March, our waiting list is now 92 names long and has at least $392,000 pledged. If you would like to get on our official waiting list, please fill out the form here. We don’t know for sure if or when we will sell more bonds but the chances are good – stay tuned for more information on this.
Renewable Energy Approval (REA)
Our consultants and technical sub-consultants have been working to address the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC)’s concerns about stormwater management. The primary thing they are looking for are additional details on what features we are planning to use to manage stormwater and which guidelines the design adheres to. There was some miscommunication about what they needed to see, and we have now begun the revisions they are looking for. A meeting will be held in the next 2 weeks with MOECC staff to answer any remaining questions.
As you may recall, at the outset of the project, ZooShare secured a Letter of Intent for the full supply of organic waste (14,000 tonnes) with Canada’s largest grocery retailer. Following this, we executed a contract for the first 4,000 tonnes in June 2013 for waste to be supplied from stores equipped with on-site mills (to liquify the waste at the store). We have been working with our partners on the second contract (for the remaining 10,000 tonnes) as it needs to come from a different part of the company since not all stores are equipped with the mills.
As mentioned last month, we continue to work with our grocery partners and their waste management companies to sort out the logistics and pricing of a deal that satisfies all parties. We have also been speaking to other potential suppliers to gain a better understanding of the make-up and value of the alternative options. Our primary goal continues to be signing a deal with our existing partners, and we are hopeful to getting it done in the coming weeks.
Digestate (fertilizer) sale/disposal
We came to a revenue sharing agreement in principle with the company that will process our liquid digestate over the month and are looking to close the deal in the next month if possible. We also put an agreement in front of the nearby farmer for his review and feedback and expect to get it done in a similar time frame.
Regarding the solid digestate (Poo from the Zoo brand fertilizer), we are working to quantify and prove how much this product could be worth if sold directly by ZooShare to customers, as this approach would generate greater profits compared to selling it wholesale to our grocery partners as we originally planned.
Given our reduced need to put ourselves out there and sell bonds, event attendance have been scaled back in the recent weeks. In May, we participated in the Kids’ World of Energy Fesitval, put on by our friends at TREC Education at the Evergreen Brickworks. Over the course of the 4 day festival, about 2,500 kids (of all ages) learned about the intricacies of different types of renewable power production (including biogas) and the importance of conservation.
Zoo-biogas is heating up!
After reaching out to 10 different US-based zoos with an introductory email, we had deeper conversations with zoos in Honolulu, LA, Washington DC and Buffalo about their constraints and needs. Thus far, physical space seems to be the biggest constraint as most zoos are located in urban parklands without any space to expand zoo operations. We are continuing to speak to them about alternative, smaller scale approaches to biogas and have submitted a proposal to one of the zoos already. More info will become available as this pursuit progresses.