Bioenergy, Hydropower, Wind Power

EMCs Sign Unique Renewable Energy Agreement

Green Power EMC, a partnership of 28 electric membership corporations (EMCs) in Georgia, will purchase 20 megawatts (MW) of electricity from what may well be the first poultry litter-to-energy operation in Georgia. The electricity will be provided by Earth Resources Inc., which will construct a chicken litter-to-electricity plant about 70 miles northeast of Atlanta.

When complete, the $20 million Franklin County plant will generate enough energy annually to meet the needs of more than 15,000 homes. Construction is scheduled to begin in May and expected to be operational by summer 2007. The 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) is part of Green Power EMC’s mission to research and develop renewable energy options such as biomass, solar, wind and low-impact hydro. “Green Power EMC continues to assist its members in diversifying their energy resources and their renewable energy portfolio,” said Michael Whiteside, president and CEO of Green Power EMC. “This technology will benefit businesses, farmers, EMC customers, residents of Georgia and the environment.” “As we were reminded by the disruption of our gas supplies after Hurricane Katrina, energy is a critical, and vulnerable, ingredient of our economy,” said Governor Sonny Perdue. “Georgia must be proactive in developing alternative energy sources, and that is exactly what we’re seeing with Green Power EMC’s poultry litter-to-energy operation. If this project is successful, it has the potential to be replicated throughout the state, and could be a significant agricultural solution for Georgia’s growing energy needs.” Recently, Green Power EMC had monitored an Earth Resources chicken litter-to-energy research demonstration project, made possible by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture. After the prototype proved so successful, Earth Resources made plans to construct a commercial facility. In addition to the electricity generated, benefits of the gasification technology include lower emissions and less reliance on fossil fuels.