Florida PSC Approves 100-MW Biomass Power Plant

Florida’s Public Service Commission (FPS) last week approved Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and American Renewables’ joint petition for the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, a planned 100-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant that will be located in Gainesville, Florida.

American Renewables will build, own and operate the facility and will sell all energy and environmental attributes generated from the facility to GRU for a period of 30 years. The plant will be fueled by a local supply of leftover clean woody waste using urban wood waste, wood processing wastes and logging residues. 

In supporting the proposed plant, FPS Commissioner David Klement said he was satisfied the plant meets needs for reliability integrity, fuel diversity and supply reliability.

“It is prudent to consider the longer range needs of this utility and of Florida’s commitment to renewables. We want to promote renewables,” he said.

Construction of the plant will bring more than 1,100 direct and indirect construction jobs to the area during its approximate 34-month construction phase. American Renewables plans to begin construction on the biomass facility in December 2010.

After the plant is completed, more than 200 direct, permanent positions will be created to operate and maintain the plant as well as procure biomass fuel. The project will support an additional 500 indirect, permanent positions in the region.

“The PSC has taken an important step today toward significantly expanding Florida’s commitment to renewable energy,” said Jim Gordon, CEO of American Renewables. “The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center will bring reliable, cost-effective renewable energy to GRU customers and spur significant economic development in north central Florida.”

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