Year: 2007-08

Company: Clear Springs

Liaison(s): Fred Boling

Clear Springs owns 18,000 acres of rolling land located in Polk County, Florida, which is midway between Tampa and Orlando. Founded as a new eco-friendly community by Stanford N. Phelps, Clear Springs plans to dedicate 6,000 acres of land to renewable energy feedstock production. The objective of this TMP was to analyze the renewable energy market and determine the optimal energy feedstock for this new community. Working directly with Clear Springs, the team identified algae and switchgrass as the two best suited energy feedstock options. For the analysis of the algae biofuels market, the team investigated all the companies currently involved in the field, conducted extensive interviews, created financial models, and developed detailed market reports. In addition, switchgrass strains and biofuel production technology were investigated and a final report and recommendation were provided. The team also succeeded in developing a laboratory analysis of algae composition and growth characteristics. The algae and switchgrass financial valuations were supported by Crystal Ball risk and valuation software, which was utilized to forecast outcomes for the different investment proposals and provide reports to conduct a return on investment analysis. The team recommended several business proposals to Clear Springs with supporting marketing, financial, and laboratory information. The recommendations provide Clear Springs with the knowledge and resources necessary to make a final decision on how to proceed with their renewable energy venture.