Biogas systems to be exempt from state sales, use taxes

Yuchen Wu

LA SALLE - Gov. John Hickenlooper will sign legislation into law Saturday at Heartland Renewable Energy LLC's biogas plant that is under construction in La Salle.

HB 14-1159 will exempt biogas production systems from having to pay state sales and use taxes.

When completed, the anaerobic digestion plant will produce pipeline-grade methane gas, which can be converted to electricity. The system will use a mixture of manure from area dairy farms, and organic food waste and residuals from the food-processing industry. The plant will be capable of producing up to 30 megawatts of power annually.

The new law will save Heartland Renewable Energy about $2 million on sales and use taxes, said Tom Haren, founder and chief executive of AGPROfessionals LLC, a Greeley-based consulting firm that assisted Heartland Renewable Energy in securing approvals to construct its biogas plant.

The construction budget is approximately $50 million, Haren said. Work on building the plant began last summer and completion is expected in about 18 months.

The anaerobic digester will produce up to 30 megawatts of power annually, which, if converted to electricity, would powering approximately 20,000 homes every year, Haren said.

Heartland's facility will become Colorado's first large-scale plant for biogas production, Haren said. For a long period, biogas was overlooked because there weren't any significant biogas production facilities out there, and it's great to see biogas construction on a level playing field with other renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, he said.

Heartland Renewable Energy was founded in 2006 in Longmont by George E. Howard. The company received an IQ Award in the Green/Sustainability category in 2010.

In September, San Diego-based EDF Renewable Energy became a partner in the project.

The signing ceremony will be from 3:15 to 3:45 p.m., Saturday May 17 at 19179 County Road 49.