A biomass power plant in California has started operations two weeks ahead of schedule.HOUSTON, Texas, US, 2001-06-19 [SolarAccess.com] A biomass power plant in California has started operations two weeks ahead of schedule. EP Power Finance L.L.C., a subsidiary of El Paso Corp, says the Madera facility near Fresno is generating 25 megawatts of electricity for California market. EP Power Finance provided funding to Madera Power, a subsidiary of Energy Products of Idaho, to acquire and refurbish the dormant power plant. The facility uses 53 different forms of local biomass as its fuel sources, and is one of two power plants to come online in California since the state has been in a power crisis. Madera uses biomass materials that typically includes grape by-products, wood chips, and tree trimmings that would otherwise be disposed of in landfills or burned in open fields. “We have been pleased to work with EP Power Finance to help provide additional electricity to the California grid while using an innovative renewable energy source,” says Leroy Pope of Energy Products. “This partnership has enabled our company to pursue this viable opportunity to revive a quiescent project to help meet local energy demands.” Electricity generated by the Madera plant is sold into the wholesale merchant market. The project has attracted attention because of its rapid start-up date. El Paso is one of the largest natural gas companies in the world with assets of $50 billion. The company owns a significant portion of the natural gas delivery grid in North America and is the third largest natural gas producer in the U.S.