PEF to Buy Renewable Energy from Biomass Plant

Progress Energy Florida (PEF) has signed a long-term contract to purchase electricity generated by what will be the largest waste-wood biomass plant in the nation. Progress Energy has signed contracts to add more than 200 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy to its system.

Biomass Gas & Electric (BG&E), based in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to build a power plant in north Florida that will use gasification to create electricity from waste wood products — such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills. It will generate about 75 MW. It would be BG&E’s third biomass power plant.

“The southeast is the most biomass-rich area of the United States. Any comprehensive plan for energy production for the state of Florida should include renewable energy, and biomass must be an integral part of that plan,” said Glenn Farris, president and CEO of Biomass Gas & Electric.

The contract will be filed for consideration with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The company seeks PSC approval of the contract and certification of the proposed plant as a qualifying facility under Florida laws and regulations that encourage renewable energy. Projected commercial operation is expected to begin in 2011.

PEF purchases more than 800 megawatts from a number of qualifying facilities. They use various fuel sources, including biomass, waste heat from agricultural processes and municipal solid waste.

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