GreatPoint Energy, Inc., the developer of hydromethanation, a proprietary process that converts coal, petroleum coke and biomass into clean natural gas while capturing and making available for sequestration CO2 in the process, and University of Massachusetts Dartmouth today announced the signing of a partnership to support clean energy technology development in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
GreatPoint Energy will utilize UMass Dartmouth's highly sophisticated, 60,000 square foot Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center (ATMC) in Fall River to continue development of its technology. The collaboration, in combination with GreatPoint Energy's commissioning this month of the Mayflower Clean Energy Center, a first-of-a-kind gasification demonstration plant in Somerset, MA, signifies the Company's commitment to make Massachusetts a major center for clean energy technology research and development.
The industry-university partnership will initially create 20 internship positions for UMass Dartmouth engineering students. The internships will prepare the students for future careers in the emerging green economy, which is being aggressively promoted by both President Obama and Massachusetts Governor Patrick.
"We are extremely proud and excited to contribute to the education of UMass Dartmouth students who will get first-hand experience working with our engineering team to develop cleaner, more efficient methods for producing energy," said Daniel Goldman, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at GreatPoint Energy. "This partnership between UMass Dartmouth and GreatPoint Energy is intended to foster the next generation of clean energy innovators, and we are pleased to play a role that leverages our Mayflower project for the betterment of the Commonwealth."
The ATMC leverages UMass Dartmouth resources for regional economic development by providing educational opportunities for students and advanced technology and manufacturing solutions for Massachusetts technology companies. The $14 million ATMC was financed and built by the Massachusetts Development Agency, the Commonwealth's leading economic development authority.
"We are pleased to have the opportunity to join forces with one of Massachusetts' leading clean energy technology companies and provide the opportunity for our students to learn from GreatPoint Energy's technical and scientific team," said UMass Dartmouth Chancellor Jean F. MacCormack.
"This is a great partnership that pairs one of our leading clean energy companies and our state university to train the engineers this vital new industry needs for the future," said Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Ian Bowles.
"Partnerships like this leverage the Commonwealth's natural advantages to make Massachusetts a nation-leading center of clean energy innovation. I am extremely pleased to learn of GreatPoint Energy's commitment to advance clean energy technology in our region," said Senator Joan Menard (D-Fall River).
"Their partnership with UMass Dartmouth will further advance the company's mission, while reinforcing the school's commitment of cutting edge research development in the South Coast. This is an excellent example of how a public-private partnership should work," stated Representative Patricia A. Haddad (D-Somerset). "It's a win-win situation for everyone: the students, the University, Great Point Energy, the town of Somerset and the Commonwealth."
Hydromethanation is a highly efficient process by which natural gas is produced through the reaction of steam and carbonaceous solids in the presence of a catalyst. The process enables the conversion of low-cost feedstock such as coal, petroleum coke and biomass into clean, high-purity methane.
GreatPoint Energy plans to build, own and operate large-scale natural gas production facilities strategically located at the intersection of natural gas pipelines and low-cost feedstock, as well as at locations where the CO2 produced and captured in its process can be geologically sequestered. When combined with power generation, GreatPoint Energy offers a life-cycle carbon footprint that is lower than any other form of conventional power generation technology.
GreatPoint Energy's cost of production is expected to be significantly lower than current prices of new drilled natural gas and imported liquefied natural gas (LNG). The natural gas produced through hydromethanation, called bluegas(TM), meets all natural gas quality specifications, can be transported through the thousands of miles of pipelines already in place around the world and can be used interchangeably with drilled natural gas and imported LNG.
About GreatPoint Energy
GreatPoint Energy is the leading developer of a proprietary, highly-efficient catalytic process, known as hydromethanation, by which coal, petroleum coke and biomass are converted directly into low-cost, clean, pipeline-quality natural gas, while allowing for the capture and sequestration of carbon dioxide (CO2). The Company has raised $140 million to date and is backed by leading investors including Suncor Energy, the Dow Chemical Company, AES Corp., and Peabody Energy, as well as major financial institutions and venture capital firms, including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Khosla Ventures, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Advanced Technology Ventures, and Citi's Sustainable Development Investments. To learn more, please visit www.greatpointenergy.com
About UMass Dartmouth Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center
The Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center of the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is located in the South Coast Research and Technology Park, near the intersection of Routes 195 and 24 in Fall River, within a 60,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art technology facility. The goal of the ATMC is to provide advanced technology and manufacturing solutions, through industry and university partnerships, to meet current and future business needs. For more information, please visit www.atmc.umassd.edu.