Biomass is the latest renewable energy source to be targeted by a Texas power company in the push to meet renewable energy targets. Austin Energy will seek approval to build a biomass power plant in Sacul, East Texas. Supporting their chances is a 20 year, $2.3 billion power supply agreement with Nacogdoches Power.
Nacogdoches will construct, operate and sell the 100MW of electricity that the power plant will produce to sell to Austin Energy. The developer of the project is American Renewables.
If the proposal is given the green light it is expected that the biomass power plant will come online in 2012. Fueling the plant will be waste wood from lumber and mill operations in the immediate surrounding area.
The project will use the latest in boiler and emissions control technology to achieve the cleanest power production possible. The exact process of how the plant will convert woody waste into electricity while producing little to no emissions is explained on the Nacogdoches Power website.
The plant will require upwards of 1 million tons of wood feedstock to operate the facility per year. The fuel will be sourced from the following biomass materials:
- forest residue from surrounding forests
- wood processing residues
- clean municipal wood waste
All of the fuel for the power plant will be sourced from a 75 mile radius around the plant. There has been a comprehensive study conducted by an independent forestry consultant to confirm that there is more than enough fuel in this area to fuel the project for its operating lifetime.