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.

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