The small Arizona town of Snowflake in the east of the state has benefitted from the reopening of the Snowflake White Mountain Biomass Power Plant.
The Snowflake Power Plant that was first commissioned in 2008 as part of the Catalyst Paper Mill was originally sold and ceased power production in 2010. In 2013 the power plant was brought back to life thanks to Novo Power LLC which is controlled by Arizona state senator Bob Worsley.
Power Plant Facts In Brief
Location: Snowflake, AZ
Feedstock: Logging & milling residue
The power plant has a capacity of 24MW and is powered mostly by fuel sourced from forest thinning from the lands surrounding the White Mountains. The remainder of the fuel source will come from unusable recycled paper fibers that have been discarded by the Catalyst Paper Corp. mill.
The funding for the rebirthing of the power plant amounted to around $12 million and was provided by Worsley and local investors.
Re-starting the idle biomass power plant was able to provide jobs for around 100 workers in the area. The power plant needs 35 full time workers on site while the remaining 65 are required to supply the fuel for the biomass boilers.
Apart from the creation of jobs again in the community the other main benefit for the surrounding communities comes through the forest thinning process. By thinning out the forests the towns in the area gain protection from devastating forest fires that are common. The thinned out land will also allow better water run off into the dams that supply the Phoenix area.
As well as the smaller biomass power plant, Novo Power has also bought a connected larger 80 MW coal-fired plant. According to Worsley this power plant will not be started in its original configuration and will either be converted to natural gas or given an overhaul to convert it to low-emission technology.
To find out about other biomass power plants around the state of Arizona or the entire country please visit the Biomass Power Plants In the United States page.