Florida, United States [RenewableEnergyWorld.com] On Thursday, May 7, 2009, the Gainesville City Commission unanimously approved a 30-year energy contract between Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and Gainesville Renewable Energy Center LLC (GREC), an American Renewables project company. GRU will purchase and own 100 percent of the output from GREC’s 100-megawatt (MW) wood-fueled biomass power plant to be located in Gainesville, Florida.
GREC’s biomass power plant will be located on GRU’s Deerhaven Generating Station property. The plant will create up to 350 construction jobs, 45 new direct jobs at the facility and will support nearly 500 permanent forestry industry jobs. The facility will utilize waste wood from logging and mill activity as well as urban wood waste from land clearing, tree trimming and waste pallets as its fuel.
In addition to this power purchase contract, GRU and GREC will enter into a long-term lease for the parcel of land on the Deerhaven site. GREC is beginning the process of obtaining the necessary environmental and operational permits necessary for construction and operation of the facility. GREC anticipates breaking ground for construction of the biomass power plant in late 2010 with the start of operations scheduled for late 2013.
“By partnering with American Renewables to bring a 100-megawatt biomass power-plant to Gainesville, we are fighting climate change through the increased use of renewable energy sources, energy efficiency and the reduction of greenhouse gases,” stated Gainesville Mayor Pegeen Hanrahan. “A plentiful supply of cost-effective locally-produced wood waste for fuel means that we have also strengthened our energy independence and are supporting hundreds of jobs in our region.”