[NEWS] Arizona Coal-Fired Plant to Test Burn Biomass
– by Brandon Loomis, July 11, 2016, The Republic
Some Arizonans will get wood-fired electricity this fall or winter in a test burn meant to accelerate forest thinning, which protects the state’s water supply.
Salt River Project plans to mix up to 10 percent wood chips from northern Arizona’s pine forests with the coal it burns at Coronado Generating Station near St. Johns. The test will last 20 days and help the public utility determine whether it can burn such a mix longer-term without requiring major plant modifications.
Though the product is power, the incentive is water.
“The majority of our surface water comes out of those forests and we’re very, very concerned that those forests are going to burn,” said Bruce Hallin, water supply director for SRP, a major water and power supplier to the Phoenix area.