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Unformatted text preview: This case, prepared by Research Associate Laure Mougeot Stroock under the supervision of Professor Wesley D. Sine, was developed solely as the basis for class discussion. Cases are not intended to serve as endorsements, sources of primary data, or illustrations of effective or ineffective management. Copyright © 2006 by the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management. To order copies or request permission to reproduce materials, write Wesley Sine at [email protected] No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, used in a spreadsheet, or transmitted in any form or by any means—electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise—without the permission of the Cornell Johnson Graduate School of Management. A P R I L 1 5 , 2 0 0 6 P R O F E S S O R W E S L E Y D . S I N E L A U R E M O U G E O T S T R O O C K Distributed Generation Technologies (A) Introduction Jonathan Greene, Charles Hamilton, and Shane Sugino, three MBA students at Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management (JGSM), were sitting in the School’s atrium feverishly reviewing their slides. It was February 10, 2004, the day before they were scheduled to present the business plan of Distributed Generation Technologies (DGT), their freshly incorporated company specializing in the commercialization of energy technologies, to the JGSM’s Business Idea Competition (BIC). 1 At stake was a $10,000 prize that the three MBAs hoped to win thanks to an exclusive technology license on a breakthrough anaerobic digestion technology from Cornell. This technology, which converted animal manure and other organic waste into a 90% methane-rich pressurized biogas, would allow DGT to develop a revolutionary anaerobic digester and to dominate its competitors, who could produce only a 60% methane-rich biogas from the same inputs at low (atmospheric) pressure. By turning the disposal of organic waste, traditionally considered a cost, into profitable biogas, DGT’s technology served two growing convergent markets: organic waste management and renewable energy. Federal and state regulatory pressures were opening new opportunities in both markets. Farmers had to comply with increasingly stringent regulations to dispose of their manure in an environmentally friendly way as well as address the concerns of neighbors about offensive odors. Wastewater treatment plants and the food processing industry were in the process of upgrading their waste treatment equipment to meet federal and state water-quality standards. Meanwhile, a growing number of states had mandates requiring renewable electricity generation in their energy markets. As a renewable substitute for compressed natural gas (CNG), the biogas from DGT’s anaerobic digestion technology could be used as a fuel for both mobile (CNG buses) and stationary (generators, boilers, and fuel cells) applications....
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- Spring '08
- Anaerobic digestion, DGT, generation technologies