Poop – Planet – Prosperity

Highmark Renewable “natural” gas
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enlightened orgs: inspiration


In the debt-free province of Alberta, where the black gold that first gushed from the ground in the 1950’s, has resulted in a Heritage Trust fund worth of billions of dollars being set aside for a “rainy day” – getting anyone to think about alternative energy sources is not an easy sell. But two framers from the tiny farming community of Vegreville have risen to the challenge.

Their innovation to create Biogas from cattle manure seems a perfect fit for a province that has ranching as it second largest industry. It is also timely for a province aware of the implications of the depleting sources of non-renewable oil and gas, and the challenges of a reliance on an industry with a Boom/Bust economic cycle.

“Inventing a new technology is a pure Alberta story… a great example that building a knowledge economy can happen on the farm, not just in ivory towers” – Evan Chapko, CEO, Highmark Renewables (Edmonton Journal, 02/08/09)

FROM POOP TO PROFIT…Alberta’s new Black Gold…


Shane and Evan Chrapko are taking the cattle manure from a 30,000 cow feedlot, owned by partners Mike and Bert Kotelko, and turning it into Biogas, something their company Highmark Renewables, markets as “renewable natural gas.”

They have just tapped into what is probably Alberta’s most abundant and renewable resource…cattle poop.

The greenist electrical generating plant in the province is now producing one megawatt of power which is enough to meet the electrical demand of the feedlot and 700 homes in the tiny communities of Vegreville and Two Hills. When the construction on this plant is completed, it will also produce ethanol to be added to gasoline without the current problem of having to take away from farmland to produce ethanol from crops like corn. Together, with the help of Xiaomei Li, a scientist from China, they have developed more than 40 recipes for turning waste, including slaughter house waste and municipal sewage, into biogas. Patents are pending.

Their motto: “Where there is waste…there is opportunity.”
Chrapko calls it a “virtuous loop – producing power, cattle feed, fuel and fertilizer .”

The goal is to have a string of plants across the prairies at sites where manure is plentiful. When you consider each cow produces the manure equivalent of six humans, the idea of continuing to spread this volume of waste and its resultant methane gas, over the land forever, without negative consequences, is to ignore a looming environmental problem.

Travis Nickel who heads up the company, Growing Power, responsible for the electrical side of this innovation, sees a time when every feedlot in the country will have such a plant to provide fuel for nearby towns and will deliver ethanol to the big refineries for production of gasoline.

Shane and Evan Chrapko are no strangers to successful ventures. They launched, built and sold The DocSpace Company for 811 Million (538 Million USD) in just 30 months from inception to final sale. Both are graduates of the University of Alberta. Shane is the recipient of the rare Early Career Achievement award awarded to one graduate from a pool of 100,00, who has achieved remarkable success in business within ten years of graduation.

ANOTHER LOCAL, HOME-GROWN SOLUTION…a company to watch in the future!


If you know a company that is making a Mindshift towards serving humanity while still turning a profit, we would like to know about them. Let us know by contacting::
attractingsuccess@soulabundant.com... or leave the information in the comments section of this post.

Organizational Behaviour Consultant
author: Imagine Your Soul Abundant: Attracting Success, Fulfillment and True Happiness
more about: www.soulabundant.com
Judy’s book can be ordered from her website www.soulabundant.com.  Special prices for bulk orders upon request. Seminars and retreats customized to the needs of your group or organization.

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