Solar Power | Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, Nevada

Construction has begun on the 250MW Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project. The project is located on the Moapa River Indian Reservation to the north of Las Vegas. It is expected that the plant will be fully operational by the end of 2015. By that time it will be capable of providing solar energy to meet the needs of over 93,000 homes.

There is a Power Purchase Agreement in place with the LADWP to deliver solar energy for 25 years to the City of Los Angeles. A ground breaking ceremony has been held to kick off the start of the project and was attended by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. He told the crowd, “The Moapa Southern Paiute Solar project is the first utility-scale solar project on tribal land and will deliver much needed economic benefits to the Tribe and Nevada. It will also create about 400 construction jobs, and replace dirty energy with clean solar power.”

When the power plant is producing its renewable energy it will displace approximately 313,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year.

It is the aim of LADWP to expand its use of renewable energy to 33 percent of its total power supply as it attempts to build a clean energy future. The Moapa plant provides 2.4 percent towards achieving this goal.

Moapa Southern Paiute Solar, LLC (a subsidiary of First Solar Electric, LLC) is the project owner and will construct the project using First Solar’s advanced photovoltaic (PV) thin film solar modules. The project will be built on 2,000 acres of land on the Moapa River Indian Reservation and include an onsite substation and a new 5.5 mile 500 kV transmission line that will connect the project to the existing Crystal Substation, serving energy users in California.

According to the press release that was issued by First Solar, “Once the Moapa Southern Paiute Solar facility becomes fully operational, LADWP will be able to repurpose existing transmission systems that now bring high-carbon coal power from Navajo Generating Station. The Moapa plant, along with a second utility-scale solar power plant in that region of Nevada, will enable LADWP to stop receiving coal power from the Navajo plant by the end of 2015, four years before it is required by California state law—reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 8.4 million metric tons (MMT) between 2014 and 2019 cumulatively. The renewable energy from the two solar power projects in Nevada will contribute over 4 percent to LADWP’s goal of 33 percent renewable energy by 2020.”

Wind Power | Scioto Ridge Wind Project, Ohio

Approval has been granted by the Ohio state Power Siting Board for the installation of up to 176 turbines on 17,000 acres of leased land in Hardin and Logan counties. The proposal is for the Scioto Ridge wind project in Ohio to proceed which would result in a 300MW wind farm.

The project is being run by Pittsburgh-based EverPower Wind Holdings and the company has included a range of potential turbines in its permit application including 1.7MW to 3.3MW machines by Repower, Nordex, Vestas, Gamesa and GE. The project will be constructed by Hardin Wind which is a subsidiary of EverPower Wind Holdings.

Scioto Ridge Wind Project

Associated Transmission Projects

Consent has also been given for the construction of other electric transmission facilities. These additional projects are:

  • a 345kV substation
  • a five-mile 345kV transmission line to an existing AEP 345kV circuit.

Both of these projects are associated with the construction of the wind farm. Part of the process of completing the wind farm will involve the creation and use of up to 60 miles of access roads, 83 miles of underground electric collection lines and four meteorological towers.

Conditions Apply

The applications for the wind farm and the associated transmission facilities were first filed in June and September 2013. The Power Siting Board order subjects the projects to 28 conditions that must be implemented by Hardin Wind to ensure the construction and operation of the wind farm is done in a way that mitigates impacts to area residents and ecological resources.

It must be remembered that this approval is one of a number of steps that must be undertaken by the company before work can commence on the construction of the wind farm. If the environmental criteria and other steps are taken properly, EverPower hopes that construction will get underway in 2015.

Opposition to the Project

Several dozen local residents in a group called Fight the Wind have asked the Hardin County commissioners to repeal an “alternative energy zone” agreement that cuts the amount of tax the company must pay on each turbine. The tax break is necessary to make the project economically viable. Logan County does not have an alternative energy zone and the Fight the Wind group will be fighting to ensure one isn’t enacted by local officials.

Biomass | Stockton Power Plant Conversion Project

The following Press Release was issued by DTE Energy Services to announce the completion of the construction of a project to convert the Stockton Biomass power plant from a coal-fired plant to biomass. The power plant is located in Port of Stockton, California.

DTE Energy Services, Inc. has finished its construction project to convert a shuttered coal-fired power plant at the Port of Stockton to operate on biomass fuel.

The plant, known as Stockton Biomass, began commercial operations on Feb. 21. It is selling its renewable power to PG&E Company to help it meet its renewable energy requirement.

The plant will use about 320,000 tons of woody biomass fuel annually to generate about 45 megawatts of power – enough electricity to meet the needs of 45,000 homes. The fuel primarily is derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings and agricultural processes.

“We are excited to have this green energy plant operational and appreciate the support we’ve received from the Port of Stockton, local officials and community leaders to make it a reality,” said Steve Sorrentino, Vice President Wholesale Power & Renewables, DTEES. “We recognize the positive economic impact of this facility on the community and look forward to partnering with the city of Stockton for many years to come.”

The site, once one of the most polluted in San Joaquin Valley, now is home to one of the cleanest solid-fuel power plants in the country. It is providing 35 high-quality jobs and another 100 indirectly involved with DTE Stockton’s fuel supply infrastructure.

The plant began operation in 1989 as a coal-fired power plant and ceased operation in April 2009. DTEES purchased it in June 2010 with plans to convert the plant to biomass. At its peak, the construction project employed about 100 workers. DTEES replaced the boilers and employed the best available control technologies to minimize air emissions.

DTEES, a subsidiary of DTE Energy, is headquartered in Ann Arbor, Mich. It has completed similar biomass conversions in Cassville, Wis. and Bakersfield, Calif. The company also operates biomass power plants in Woodland, Calif. and Mobile, Ala. An official ribbon-cutting for the Stockton plant will be held later this spring.

New Boiler and Biomass Equipment

In order to perform the conversion process ESI was selected to provide complete engineering and procurement for the installation of a new 440 KH/HR stoker-fired boiler at the existing Port of Stockton Energy Plant.

Included with the boiler is a complete biomass receiving and storage facility and a state-of-the-art environmental clean-up system, consisting of a precipitator, SCR/CO catalyst, trona injection and wet scrubber. ESI will provide balance of plant engineering to incorporate the new equipment into the existing turbine generator and controls system.

That “Smoke” Is Now Steam

When the newly refurbished power plant comes into view you can be forgiven for thinking the stuff that is billowing from the 75-foot stack is smoke, but it’s not…it’s steam. What was once the most polluting business in the area now burns much cleaner than it did before.

The power plant will now enable the surrounding trimmings and wood waste from local orchards to be burned in such a way that it will be safe and efficient, and a lot cleaner to the atmosphere. In the past wood waste from orchards was disposed of by burning it until the process was banned by air-quality regulators. The opening of this converted biomass power plant will once again provide an effective disposal method for waste that would otherwise be dumped in landfill.

Wind Power | Hereford 2 Wind Project, Texas

Construction of the Hereford 2 wind power project has begun in Castro County, Texas. The project is being developed by Lincoln Renewable Energy which is a developer of wind and solar projects. The project is a 300 MW wind farm that will be located around 50 miles to the southwest of Amarillo and will connect into the Sharyland Utilities Windmill substation.

The project is the second part of the Hereford Wind Project with phase 1 consisting of 200MW. The Hereford 1 project has been acquired by EDF Renewable Energy and this acquisition deal included an option to also acquire the second phase. This will give the entire Hereford 1 and 2 projects 500MW capacity.

EDF Renewable recently secured a 200MW turbine deal with GE which amounts to 108 turbines with a 1.85MW rating.

The wind farm is located in a competitive renewable energy zone (CREZ), one of several geographic areas identified by the Public Utilities Commission of Texas (PUCT) to encourage wind power development and connect them to large cities with high electricity demands via new transmission lines.

“The start of construction of Hereford 2 project marks the continuation of a very successful year for Lincoln Renewable Energy,” said Philip Moore, VP of Development at Lincoln Renewable Energy. “To date we have commenced construction on 30 MW of solar and 500 MW of wind power projects in California and Texas.”

Moore added, “We are particularly pleased to see another CREZ-enabled project commence construction and congratulate the PUCT and transmission providers on the continued success of CREZ in bringing low cost, clean energy to Texas customers and providing economic development in the wind-rich Texas panhandle.”

Partnering Lincoln Renewable Energy in the development of the second phase is Dallas-based developer Higher Power Energy LLC. The company was also involved in the first phase of the project.

Biomass | Pinelands Biomass Project in Allendale and Dorchester

The commercial operations of two power generating facilities falling under the single umbrella known as the Pinelands Biomass project have been achieved. The South Carolina facilities are located in Allendale and Dorchester counties and the projects have been brought to commercial operations by EDF Renewable Energy and Santee Cooper.

The two biomass powered generating facilities are capable of producing 17.8MW and they have been brought online on November 1 (Dorchester) and November 19 (Allendale).

The projects each use a biomass design with a stoker boiler and a steam turbine generator.  The facility generates electricity by burning roughly 280,000 tons of logging debris per year. Debris will include virgin wood residue, such as tree limbs and woody right-of-way clearings, for a portion of the plant’s biomass fuel source.
They will be capable of producing enough electricity to power about 15,000 homes.

The two facilities will supply their power to Santee Cooper which is officially known as the South Carolina Public Service Authority under 30-year power purchase agreements.

Pinelands Dorchester Power PlantPinelands Dorchester

The project was originally acquired from Southeast Renewable Energy in May 2012 and it has been responsible for the creation of more than 250 construction jobs and there are 38 full-time positions for the ongoing daily operations.

“Biomass is poised to be a key renewable base-load energy resource for South Carolina, and we are pleased to work with Santee Cooper on this excellent opportunity to produce economically attractive renewable energy,” said Tristan Grimbert, President and CEO of EDF RE. “Utilizing wood waste to generate electricity is a proven renewable technology that complements EDF Renewable Energy’s robust portfolio of wind, solar and biogas projects in North America.”

“Santee Cooper was the first utility in the state to deliver electricity to all our customers from new renewable resources 12 years ago,” said Lonnie Carter, Santee Cooper’s President and CEO. “Today represents a new milestone for us and for South Carolina. The partnership forged with EDF Renewable Energy helps advance Santee Cooper’s role as the state’s leader in generating renewable energy.”

Tafila Wind Farm, Jordan Gets Investment From Masdar

A financing agreement has been announced by the Jordan Wind Project Company (JWPC) for construction to begin on a 38 turbine wind farm in the southern governorate of Tafila in Jordan. The wind farm will have a maximum generating capacity of 117 MW.

The electricity generated by the facility will be sold to Jordan’s National Electric Power Company (Nepco) in a 20 year power purchase agreement.

When the facility has been completed it will be able to produce around 400 gigawatt hours of electricity per year and this will displace 235,000 tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

Jordan has a need to diversify its energy supply and wind power is a good fit. There are few domestic energy sources and with the price of oil and gas being so high there is a need for energy sources such as wind power. The commissioning of the wind farm will increase Jordan’s total power capacity by 3 per cent.

The project is expected to begin construction by the end of March 2014. Power is expected to begin being delivered towards the end of 2014 with full production starting the following year.

Helping to finance the operation is a 31 per cent investment by Abu Dhabi renewable energy firm Masdar Clean Energy. This will be the first major Middle East wind farm the company has invested in outside of the UAE. The other investors in the project are InfraMed with a 50 per cent stake and EP Global Energy which holds the remaining 19 per cent.

It is estimated that the project will cost US$290 million. The project was able to secure financing late in November to ensure the project is able to go ahead on schedule. The financing has come from International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Investment Bank, Eksport Kredit Fonden, Opec Fund for International Development, FMO, Europe Arab Bank and the Capital Bank of Jordan.

Disadvantages Of Solar Energy

We have already examined the many benefits of solar power. We know that there is a very good reason to move away from fossil fuels and that it makes sense to use the energy source that is all around us. But there are also some very real disadvantages to using solar energy too. This cannot be denied. Even the most fervent supporter of solar power will admit that it has a number of drawbacks that can be used in a strong case arguing against its use.

Listed below are arguments against solar power. They are either real or perceived problems and in most cases we have also included measures that have been taken to overcome these problems. There is little doubt that technology is continuing to improve and these new innovations are gradually reducing the disadvantages of relying on solar power as a viable energy source.

We will break down the disadvantages by the scale of solar power production because they each have their own specific obstacles. First we will look at commercial scale solar power projects and then residential solar power production.

Disadvantages of Commercial Scale Solar Power

Non-guarantee of continuous power. One of the big factors holding back the use of solar power as a reliable source of power is the fact that it is not a guaranteed continuous source of energy. Even though there is plenty of sunlight available somewhere in the world, there are times when it is cloudy or night time.

The ability of an electric grid to function properly depends on the supply of power that will meet demand. Voltage fluctuations can result in problems with the grid which causes grid instability.

This problem can be overcome but it is dependent on the growth of another related industry, that of energy storage. The growth of the solar industry has reached the point where the creation of large-scale batteries is becoming an economically viable option.

Fortunately, the cost of battery options such as lithium ion battery packs is continuing to drop as technology improves. And there are other options being explored such as vanadium redox flow batteries and compressed air energy storage.

Manufacturing cost. The cost of making solar panels is still quite high, even though the price has been gradually falling as the technology matures. Buying enough solar panels to power your home is going to require some serious thought. Will you get your money back in reduced power bills?

But there is another question that must be asked. Will the solar panel save enough energy to cover the energy spent in its manufacture? According to studies you can expect to recover the cost of the manufacture of a solar panel in less than 3 years. That same solar panel will go on producing more energy for many years (up to 30 years) after that.

So even though there is an up-front cost to making solar panels, there is a pay-off in the long run. Ultimately it is worth the investment both at an individual and a global level.

Solar Tower ArraySpace requirements. The space required to create a utility scale solar power plant is quite large. No matter whether the power plant is based on photovoltaic panels or concentrating solar troughs, there will be a requirement for large tracts of land to be available. The BrightSource Energy Ivanpah Solar Power Project displayed to the left is an example of the vast amount of land required by some projects to produce electricity.

This will then draw in a raft of other potential problems such as environmental concerns, aesthetic problems with nearby residents and the suitability of the site itself which may be better used for other purposes.

Still a developing technology. This is seen as a disadvantage of solar energy because there are many inefficiencies involved with the production of solar power today. It is still more expensive than it should be and the technology that is currently being used can be greatly improved upon.

This should only be seen as a short term disadvantage and as improvements are made in the industry the current problems will be overcome. In the meantime it is important that everyone continues to find out as much about the generation of solar power so that the most informed decision possible may be made.

On a commercial level there is still a lot to be learned about the impact that large-scale solar power projects have on the environment. This includes the wildlife whose habitat is being used as well as the effect on the land and water supply.

Injured Bird At Solar Power PlantDanger to migratory birds. The construction of large solar tower systems involves huge arrays of reflecting mirrors that create intense heat. The heat from these mirrors can severely damage the feathers of any bird that happens to fly though the rays. The image to the right comes from a story run by USA Today and shows a Northern rough-winged swallow found at the Ivanpah Solar Electric Generating plant.

The potential for bird death is only recently being realised and as more large-scale solar power plants are built there is a chance that more birds will be endangered.

An example of the fears that were voiced over the danger to birds is highlighted by the coverage of the carcass of a Yuma clapper rail, a federally endangered marsh bird, that was found at the Desert Sunlight photovoltaic plant in May, 2013. Although it may or may not have been caused by the power project, the possibility that it had something to do with the death created adverse publicity for the project, prompted additional studies to be undertaken and ultimately added to the cost of the project.

Now, we’ve got to be a little careful and not get too hysterical over the deaths of a few birds. Every year thousands of birds are killed flying into building and windows. The fact that a few dead birds have been found in the vicinity of solar projects should not immediately condemn the projects to the scrapheap.

Lower absolute capacity compared to conventional power generation.

Disadvantages of Residential Solar Power

Siting requirements. In order to make the most of a solar panel installation on the roof of your home it is necessary to have a roof that is appropriate for the job. It must have the correct aspect in relation to the sun and it should be clear of obstructions such as overhanging tree branches which might block the sun’s rays.

If you live in an area that is not blessed with long periods of sunlight it may not be worth the cost of buying solar panels. Long foggy periods or days that are mostly cloudy will result in lower than average electricity production. This will mean that more panels than normal will be required to produce enough electricity for your home or you will have to supplement a higher proportion with power from the grid.

There is not really a lot you can do if you live in a part of the world that doesn’t get a lot of sunlight during the day. Similarly, if your house is thrown into shadow by the surrounding landscape your window for producing solar-based electricity is going to be severely limited.

Pollution in solar panel manufacture. One of the concerns that many environmentalists have voiced is the pollution that is caused during the production of solar panels. The manufacture of photovoltaic cells uses potentially toxic metals like lead, mercury and cadmium which can have a devastating impact if released into the environment. The presumption that we have to make is that manufacturers are working responsibly and are disposing of the heavy metal waste responsibly.

A study that was conducted over the pollution produced by the manufacture of photovoltaic cells found that even when accounting for the energy required to make them and the waste that is produced, there is still a 90 per cent cut in air pollution compared to using fossil fuels.

Expensive compared to fossil fuel-based power. When looking at it from a short-term basis, the cost of electricity generated from fossil fuel is far cheaper than the cost of solar-based electricity. But it should be the long-term view that we focus on. The long-term cost to the environment as well as the long-term actual cost will be cheaper than using coal or gas to produce our electricity.

As more and more people switch to solar power, and that includes sticking solar panels on the roof of your home or buying commercially produced solar power, the cost will come down. The gap between traditional fossil-fueled electricity and renewable energy is closing.

Conclusion

Although it appears that there is a vast number of disadvantages of using solar energy, the reality is that the technology is improving all the time. Storage capabilities and the manufacture of more efficient photovoltaic cells is overcoming some of the larger and more pressing drawbacks of using the energy source.

The cost of solar energy continues to fall so the difference between the cost of electricity from traditional fossil fuels and solar is diminishing.

The key is the identification of each disadvantage as early as possible and then work towards reducing its effect or eliminating it altogether.

Biomass Energy Pros and Cons

There are a lot of controversies surrounding many of the different types of renewable energy sources. Possibly the most controversial form of renewable energy is biomass energy. In some cases opponents question whether it should be considered renewable, others question whether it reduces carbon emissions.

There are many biomass power plants in the USA and around the world with more being planned for construction.

On this page we sort through the various pros and cons for using biomass as a renewable energy source. For the sake of this particular article we will concentrate on larger commercial power plants because these are the projects that will have the greatest impact on the environment.

We will first discuss the advantages of biomass energy and then follow that up by talking about the disadvantages.

The Pros For Using Biomass Energy

It Is Renewable

The first positive aspect dealing with biomass energy is that it produces electricity by using renewable resources. These resources may be wood waste, forest residue, processed wood pellets or urban waste.

In many cases biomass power plants uses wood waste that comes from existing logging or sawmill projects. The fuel might also come from forest thinning that is being done to prevent severe wildfires in the area or it may be from crops that are grown specifically for the purpose of providing fuel for the plant. In all cases the fuel can be relatively quickly replaced.

By using organic materials to produce electricity there is less demand for electricity produced by non-renewable resources such as coal and gas. The whole point of using renewable energy is to ease the dependence on sources that are damaging the environment in so many ways.

It is Carbon Neutral

The difference between burning biomass fuel as opposed to coal or gas is that the carbon that is released through the burning process was already present in the environment in the form of the plant. When coal or gas is used it is removed from the ground where it has been sequestered for thousands of years.

It Helps With Solid Waste Management

Every day we produce millions of tons of solid waste. This waste comprises biodegradable waste, recyclable waste and hazardous waste. All of this waste is being disposed of in a number of different ways but the vast majority is being delivered to landfills which are quickly being filled and pollution problems are common.

By using large quantities of woody waste as fuel for biomass power plants the problem of storing massively bulky waste is removed. While this type of waste is biodegradable it will take a long time to take place in which time vast quantities will have been produced also requiring room to be dumped.

The Cons Against Using Biomass Energy

It Causes Pollution

Biomass Pollution

Source

The largest argument against biomass as a clean energy is the pollution that is produced from burning wood and other biological materials. It is claimed that the emissions are as much or more than those produced when burning fossil fuels such as coal.

The types of pollutants that may be emitted by burning biomass includes particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, sulphur dioxide, lead, mercury and other hazardous substances such as styrene, acrolein and formaldehyde.

While this still qualifies biomass energy as a renewable energy, it is difficult to claim it is a clean or green energy.

It Requires Transportation of the Fuel

A common point that is raised about biomass energy is the need to transport the fuel to the power plant and the carbon emissions and pollution that is created in doing so. the argument is that this turns a renewable energy into an energy that is reliant on fossil fuel as part of the production.

But the point to remember is that the fuel that is being brought to the power plant will have had to be transported somewhere eventually. The net carbon emissions that are created is often calculated to work out as neutral.

This disadvantage brings up another aspect that many opponents object to and that is the increase in heavy traffic. In some cases biomass power plants are located in urban environments and the requirement for huge numbers of trucks to make deliveries to the plant can be extremely disruptive.

Burning Potential Food Crops

There is a strong argument against biomass because it causes crops to be planted with the intention of harvesting for fuel to feed power plants. By growing crops that are devoted to producing fuel that will eventually be burned for biomass energy we are using land that might otherwise have been used for food crops. This practice is said to be contributing to food shortages in certain parts of the world.

This is a complex issue and the suggestion that crops grown for fuel causes food shortages is not entirely true. In a lot of cases crop rotation that involves food crops and fuel crops can improve the land and increase yields from one year to the next.

Biomass Is Expensive

The creation of biomass power plants complete with dedicated boilers designed specifically to take woody fuel in the form of chips, pellets or brickettes is costly. Transport and feeding costs are also quite high and will be constantly required on a daily basis.

When compared with the costs around creating electricity burning fossil fuels, biomass comes out as the more expensive option.

Conclusion

There will continue to be strong voices of opinion on either side of the biomass argument. This is healthy and will help to improve the technology surrounding the industry as well as ensure that awareness about the pitfalls is high.

There are already boilers and particulate removal technologies being developed to solve the pollution problems as well as work being done to address other problems.

As long as both proponents and opponents continue to be vocal about the industry it will continue to improve which will ultimately lead to a better product.

Biomass | Rothschild Biomass Cogeneration Power Plant

The new biomass power plant in Rosthchild, Wisconsin has been commissioned and is producing electricity and steam on the site of the Domtar Corp. paper mill. This power plant has been built by We Energies and has a maximum generating capacity of 50 MW of electricity.

The project took more than 2 years to construct and has cost around $268 million to bring to commercial operation. As well as producing carbon neutral electricity, the plant will provide steam that is needed for Domtar’s papermaking process. This will help the company to increase efficiencies in its production process.

Power Plant Facts In Brief

Location: Rothschild, WI

Capacity: 50MW

Feedstock: Forest residue & clean wood waste

The Power Plant Fuel Source

The fuel that will feed the power plant will be sourced from areas inside a 75 mile radius from Rothschild. The fuel will consist of forest residue which is effectively the tree tops and branches that come from timber-logging operations that are already taking place in the area. It will also use wood residue such as sawdust and shavings from paper and sawmills of northern Wisconsin.

It has been determined that there is a plentiful supply of fuel that will be able to feed the plant year round.

The expertise and resources required to transport the fuel source to the plant will be provided by Domtar. The company is already committed to high forest management standards and will require all biomass suppliers to follow Wisconsin’s Woody Biomass Harvesting Guidelines or other applicable biomass harvesting plans.

It is expected that the power plant is going to burn around 500,000 tons of biomass a year.

Costs and Benefits

“The addition of the biomass plant enables us to produce renewable energy on demand,” said Gale Klappa, We Energies chairman and chief executive, in a statement. “That benefit is simply not available with solar or wind generation.”

Rothschild Cogeneration Biomass PlantBy completing and opening the power plant this year We Energies has been able to qualify for a federal tax credit that will reduce the amount that customers will pay for the power. The size of the tax credit is expected to be around $80 million and that will be returned to customers in the form of bill credits appearing on monthly bills.

The commissioning of this biomass power plant is part of We Energies’ compliance with the state’s renewable energy mandate that requires the utility generates 8.2% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2015. This mandate also requires that the level is maintained if power demand grows.

The cost of building the power plant has been more expensive than a wind farm that is capable of producing the same amount of electricity. But the costs have been justified by the fact that the power production can be generated on demand rather than rely on the variable and unpredictable nature of the wind.

The day to day running of the power plant will be taken over by Domtar employees. The company will be purchasing steam from the plant from We Energies which will allow Domtar to shut down its steam generation facilities which will increase its operational efficiencies and lower production costs.

The combination of the facility’s new air quality technology and the retirement of Domtar’s existing boilers, it is anticipated that the new facility will reduce overall emissions by around 30%. It is also expected that ambient air quality will improve even accounting for an increase in truck traffic. Around 50 to 75 truckloads of biomass fuel will be delivered to the plant each day.

To find out about other biomass power plants around the state of New Hampshire as well as the entire country please visit the Biomass Power Plants In the United States page.

Biomass | Burgess BioPower Plant, New Hampshire

The Burgess BioPower plant is a biomass power plant owned by Cate Street Capital and it is capable of producing 75MW and is located in the city of Berlin, New Hampshire. The facility is being commissioned with a commencement date in December 2013.

The facility will give the local area a boost of $25 million a year. The power plant is expected to create 40 full-time jobs at the plant. There will be further job opportunities for foresters, loggers and haulers.

Work started on the project in 2011 and it was hoped that the construction of the facility would take a year. Those forecasts were blown out by over 12 months and the number of construction workers required to complete the project was also greater than first expected.

Power Plant Facts In Brief

Location: Berlin, NH

Capacity: 75MW

Feedstock: Wood Chips

More Details About the Burgess BioPower Power Plant

The power plant will be capable of burning wood chips and other clean renewable biomass materials. The fuel will be sourced from surrounding areas.

Burgess BioPower Biomass Power PlantThe facility has been constructed to use state of the art wood-combustion technology. This makes it the most efficient possible, more so than comparable coal-fired facilities. The emissions that are produced by the plant are greatly reduced ensuring better air quality with reduced nitrogen oxides, sulphur oxides and mercury emissions.

The power that will be produced by the plant will be sold to Public Service of New Hampshire under a 20-year agreement. The utility is the largest in the state. On top of this, Burgess BioPower has also been able to secure a 20 year fuel supply agreement and an ash disposal contract.

The concern that is being expressed by advocate groups comes over the distance that the fuel will be hauled over. The question points at the transport costs in terms of pollution and carbon costs and whether the power plant is actually cutting carbon creation.

The way in which the biomass is processed when it reaches the plant is as follows. The trucks are placed on truck dumpsters to tilt them so that the biomass is dumped. Once it is on the reclaim conveyor it is taken to the wood processing structure where it is screened and ground. The ground biomass is then moved to an A-frame conveyor and it oscillates back and forth so that it is piled underneath the conveyor. This processed biomass is finally loaded into the main boiler feed conveyor.

The location of the new power plant sits on the site of the closed Fraser Paper pulp mill. This particular facility closed in 2006 after 100 years of production. The closing of the pulp mill resulted in the loss of many local jobs. The construction of the new power plant created hundreds of jobs during the course of the project and will permanently provide employment opportunities.

To find out about other biomass power plants around the state of New Hampshire as well as the entire country please visit the Biomass Power Plants In the United States page.