Tentative approval has been given by the state Department of Environmental Protection for a proposed woodburning power plant in Plainfield, Connecticut. It is planned that the Plainfield Renewable Energy Biomass Plant will burn construction and demolition debris, old wood pallets, brush and stump plus other scrap wood.
The result is hoped to be the creation of 37.5 MW of electricity from renewable sources. This would be enough to power up to 26,000 homes annually.
Predictably there is opposition to the construction of the power plant due to concerns that water from the Quinebaug River will be circulated to create the steam necessary to produce the electricity. Plus concerns have been raised over the pollutants from smokestack emissions. Past experience from other biomass power plants should allay the locals fears, with emissions usually negligible.
Critics should also weigh up what effect disposing of the construction waste will have on their environment should it not be used to generate electricity. It will either go into landfill locally producing even more pollution or, it will be trucked out of state – an even more polluting option.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (of which this biomass power plant is a part) has a goal of producing 7 percent of the state’s electricity from renewable sources by 2010.