As part of its ongoing growth in renewable energy and developing technologies, Progress Energy Florida (PEF) has signed a long-term contract to purchase electricity generated by what will be the largest waste-wood biomass plant in the nation. In the past year, Progress Energy has signed contracts to add more than 200 megawatts of renewable energy to its system.
Biomass Gas & Electric, based in Atlanta, Ga., plans to build a power plant in north Florida that will use waste wood products -- such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills -- to create electricity. It will generate about 75 megawatts. The plant is expected to avoid the need to burn nearly 5 million tons of coal over the 20-year life of the contract.
The plant will use gasification to create electricity. Projected commercial operation is expected to begin in 2011. It would be BG&E's third biomass power plant.
"We have a long history of supporting innovative technologies and promoting cost-effective, cleaner energy sources," said Jeff Lyash, president and CEO of Progress Energy Florida. "Renewable energy sources, such as this one, play a vital role in our balanced approach to managing Florida's growing energy needs."
"We are excited about this opportunity. The southeast is the most biomass-rich area of the United States. Any comprehensive plan for energy production for the state of Florida should include renewable energy, and biomass must be an integral part of that plan," said Glenn Farris, president and CEO of Biomass Gas & Electric. "It has been a pleasure to work with an industry leader such as Progress Energy Florida, providing clean and sustainable energy resources to assist with the state's future power needs."Â
The contract will be filed for consideration with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The company seeks PSC approval of the contract and certification of the proposed plant as a qualifying facility under Florida laws and regulations that encourage renewable energy.
PEF purchases more than 800 megawatts from a number of qualifying facilities. They use various fuel sources, including biomass, waste heat from agricultural processes and municipal solid waste.
Last year, Progress Energy signed a contract with the Biomass Investment Group, to purchase the energy output (130 MW) from the nation's largest biomass plant to be built in Central Florida. The project, which will utilize environmentally friendly E-grass as its fuel source, will reduce carbon emissions by more than 20 million tons over the 25-year life of the contract when compared to coal.
Via: Scandinavian Oil & Gas