Zilkha’s First Biomass Plant Finds a Fitting First Home

As one of the leading manufacturers of wood pellets, New England Wood Pellet’s biomass product heats homes and businesses across the U.S. and abroad. A new project, however, will see their product being used considerably closer to home – right in their own facility.

New England Wood Pellet (NEWP) is teaming up with Zilkha Biomass Energy to install a 1.5 megawatt (MW) biomass renewable energy co-generation facility at NEWP’s Jaffrey, New Hampshire location. The same wood chips that are pulverized, heated, compressed and eventually turned into wood pellets will also now go towards providing on-site renewable energy heat and power for the facility. According to NEWP’s president, Steve Walker, the project will be the first commercial installation of Zilkha’s direct-fired, wood-fuel gas turbine power plant. In a way, the project is a much larger version of the small pellet stoves NEWP provides a feedstock for. “Our company is dedicated to advancing high efficiency small scale electric power and thermal energy generation using renewable energy resources,” Walker said. The Zilkha Biomass Unit generates electrical and thermal energy by burning solid biomass in a patented pressurized combustor, which powers a gas combustion turbine. By not relying on gasification or conventional boiler technology, Zilkha said the energy efficiency of the unit is superior to other cogeneration alternatives. The 1.5 MW unit will provide all of NEWP electric power needs and a substantial percentage of the heat it uses to dry wood toward the manufacturing of 100,000 tons per year of clean burning wood pellet fuel. Zilkha will build, own and operate the cogeneration power plant. The expect the unit to be built and fully operational by December.
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