The Chowchilla Biomass Power Plant is located in Madera County, Central California and is owned by the Akeida Capital Management Group. In early 2013 the management and operations of the project were awarded to Deltaway Operations Services under a 10 year contract.
The Chowchilla facility was first built in the 1980s and was designed to be fuelled by a mix of agricultural and urban construction waste. The facility has an operating capacity of 12.5 MW.
The power plant had been suffering from maintenance deferrals that were affecting the plant’s performance. It was acquired in 2011 by Akeida after the previous owner Global Ampersand experienced operational and financial difficulties. By awarding the management contract to Deltaway it is working towards optimizing the plant processes and reducing operating costs.
In 2011 the performance of the plant reached such a low level that it was fined $328,000 for violations of federal Clean Air Act and rules for the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution District. This was related to excess emissions of air pollutants such as nitrogen oxides.
Plant Improvements Highlighted
All of the problems that were related to the plant now appear to have been overcome and operations are now proceeding with greater efficiency.
By October 2014 Deltaway reported that the plant had demonstrated significant improvements in critical areas. Availability of the plant had increased from 85 per cent to 92 per cent and capacity had increased from 79 per cent to 89 per cent.