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Bioenergy Project News - August 2012

August 16, 2012
Author: Suz-Anne Kinney

Dominion Virginia Power began commercial operations at its Virginia City Hybrid Energy Center in July. The 585-MW facility will consume 2.85 million tons of coal per year and up to 537,000 tons of wood waste per year. Completion occurred on schedule: construction began on the facility in August 2008; the projected completion data was Summer 2012.

Biofuels producers switch from wood to natural gas. At least two companies with plans to produce biofuels from wood have changed plans. Coskata and Primus Green Energy have announced that they will use natural gas instead of wood. Coskata made that decision after exploring natural gas markets for its first commercial-scale project in Alabama; Coskata planned to use natural gas there for just one-third of their feedstock. After comparing prices, Coskata made the decision to use natural gas exclusively. The company says it still plans to use biomass in the future; until then, it has put the construction of its planned Alabama biomass conversion facility on hold. Primus has shifted from wood pellets to natural gas at is demonstration facility in Hillsborough, New Jersey.

International Paper is talking to a series of third parties about using the remainder of its Franklin, Virginia fluff pulp mill site. One of the possibilities is a renewable energy joint venture.

East Texas Electric Cooperative began construction of a 50-MW biomass power plant near Woodville, Texas in June. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2014.

Southern Company’s Nacogdoches Generating Facility in Sacul, Texas began supplying power to the grid in July. The 100-MW facility has a 20-year power purchase agreement with the city of Austin. Completion of the project occurred on schedule: construction began in October of 2009; the expected completion date was mid-2012. The company reports the project was on budget as well. The facility will consume 1 million tons of wood-based biomass fuels. Watch the Nacogdoches facility video.

Enviva broke ground on its Franklin, Virginia wood pellet plant in July as well. The facility, which was announced in November of 2011, will produce 500,000 tons of wood pellets annually, making it Enviva’s largest facility to date. Once the project is complete—expected by late 2013—the output will be shipped to European utilities via the Port of Chesapeake.

KiOR plans to begin operations at its Columbus, Mississippi cellulosic gasoline and diesel facility in September. In preparation for its startup, KiOR was granted Part 79 registration for its renewable cellulosic gasoline by the EPA, setting the stage for the sale of the biofuel. KiOR began construction of the plant early in 2011. The facility will process 500 bone dry tons of sustainably harvested woody biomass per day. Once fully operational, it will produce over 11 million gallons of biofuel annually.

Rollcast Energy’s Greenway Renewable Power project in LaGrange, Georgia has been awarded $250,000 grant from the US Forest Service Woody Biomass Utilization Grant Program. Rollcast will use the grant for engineering to support efforts to “optimize the plant’s ability to utilize low value biomass such as logging residue and residues from hazardous fuel reduction operations.” Rollcast plans to begin construction of the plant in 2013 and to complete the project in 2015. The company’s Piedmont Green Power project in Barnesville, Georgia is scheduled to begin operations this fall.

A joint-venture between Escanaba Green Energy LLC and Huntley McMillan Energy Ventures  is buying a 25-MW coal-fired power plant in Escanaba, Michigan, from the City of Escanaba for $1.5 million. The company plans to convert the facility to a 20-MW biomass energy plant by October 2013.


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good article, great read, very informative. thank you


Bob Deneault


Very well done. Nice to see some strong players bring biomass to energy projects on line.


Biomass Power Generation in the United States | F2


[...] likely to increase throughout the rest of the year and into 2013. As we reported in our last issue, several large projects have become operational during the summer. The following projects, as well as several 20 MW or [...]

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