Biomass | Woodville Renewable Energy Project, Texas

A new biomass power plant has been proposed for construction near Woodville, Texas in Tyler County. The power plant is being developed by East Texas Electric Cooperative (ETEC) and will be a wood-fueled biomass plant that will process wood chips in producing a maximum capacity of 50MW of electricity.

The design and construction of the power plant has been awarded to Argan Inc through its wholly owned subsidiary Gemma Power Systems. It is expected that the power plant will be completed and operational by December 2014.

The length of the construction period of the power plant is anticipated to be 30 months and during that time around 250 construction jobs will be generated in the area. When the power plant is fully operational it is projected to require 25 full-time employees at the plant with more than 3 times that figure required to produce and deliver the wood chips that will be required to fuel the plant.

The biomass fuel will operate a biomass-fired stoker boiler and steam turbine-generator. The plant will also be equipped with start of the art air quality control systems, fuel storage and handling equipment, a cooling tower and switchyard. The steam that is produced by the boiler will be used directly to drive the steam-driven turbine-generator.

The water that will be used to convert into steam will come primarily from treated recycled water from the City of Woodville. Two three-mile pipelines will be built by ETEC between the power plant and the city wastewater plant.

The problem of possible emissions from the power plant is being addressed with tight combustion controls. The utilization of start of the art equipment should ensure that any emissions will be kept to an absolute minimum.

The woodchip fuel will come from local sources and will consist of residual and unsellable timber such as forestry thinning and debarking. It will be turned into woodchips locally and then will be trucked to the power plant.

At this point the project has received its air permit from the State of Texas which is required for construction to commence.

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