– by Gillian Neimark, June 16, 2017, Southeast Energy News
A new biomass plant under construction in Georgia highlights the challenging economics of the technology, even in a state so rich in forestry waste it exports it to other countries.
The 50 MW Albany Green plant – the largest renewable energy project in the state so far – is a unique collaboration among Georgia Power, private companies (including Procter & Gamble) and a nearby Marine base. While the cost for biomass generated electricity is too high to compete with wind and solar, the project also produces steam for industrial use, which improves its economics.
– by Mike Clifford, June 12, 2017, Public News Service
Faced with key decisions on the best way to proceed on energy sources for Maine, state legislators have put off a bill to promote biomass, and moved forward on a measure to support solar power.
Dylan Voorhees, climate and clean energy director with the Natural Resources Council of Maine, said the measure approved Friday increases the number of participants in solar farms, including consumers, from 10 to 200. At the same time, Voorhees said the bill shortcuts actions that would roll back net metering as a revenue source for Mainers who install renewable energy.
– by Emery Cowan, May 27, 2017, Arizona Daily Sun
Photo: Jake Bacon / Arizona Daily Sun
Three and a half years after taking over the largest stewardship contract in the Forest Service’s history, Good Earth Power AZ has new leadership that is looking to turn the company’s troubled operations around.
“The tactical execution hasn’t happened on this project, what we are trying to bring to it is tactical execution,” said Bill Dyer, the company’s new chief operating officer. “I can’t really change what has happened in the past, but we are trying to do the best we can to make it right.”
– by John Burnett, May 27, 2017, Hawaii Tribune Herald
Graphic: Hu Honua Energy
If Hu Honua Bioenergy’s long-delayed biomass power plant were to go online by the end of 2018, Hawaii Electric Light Company’s ratepayers would see increases in their electricity bills, according to an analysis HELCO filed Wednesday with the state Public Utilities Commission of a proposed power purchase agreement.
HELCO’s study used as its baseline the most recent power supply improvement plan, or PSIP, filed by HELCO in December, which includes how to gather 100 percent of energy from renewable sources such as solar, wind, water and biomass by 2045, a goal required by state law.
– by Rylan Boggs, May 30, 2017, Blue Mountain Eagle
Two biomass processing facilities are expected to be up and running in Grant County this summer.
Utilizing low-value vegetation from the Malheur National Forest, the Iron Triangle plants in Seneca and John Day will initially produce posts, poles and chips and could move into torrefied products, if the market is available. Torrefaction is the process of baking biomass into a coal-like fuel that can be burned.
The market for torrefied material depends on the Portland General Electric power plant in Boardman converting from burning coal to torrefied material, according to King Williams of Iron Triangle. PGE planned to convert the plant to biomass or shut it down entirely by 2020.
– by Christine Bauman, June 11, 2017, Alpha News
Photo: Alpha News
Gov. Mark Dayton recently signed into law the omnibus jobs and energy bill allowing the Xcel Energy-managed Renewable Development Fund to be used to shut down three biomass power plants in Benson, Hibbing, and Virginia, Minnesota.
In 1994, Xcel Energy’s predecessor Northern States Power Co. wanted to expand their radioactive waste storage. The power company reached an agreement with the state, allowing an increase in nuclear storage in exchange for funding and development of clean energy alternatives. The Renewable Development Fund was created as a result of the agreement. Xcel was also required to use renewable sources, including biomass, for some of their energy production.
– by Bob Sanders, June 7, 2017, NH Business Review
Photo: Biomass Magazine
The NH House has overwhelmingly passed Senate Bill 129, a bill that boosts the wood and solar industry, but could also raise electric bills.
The bill, which was approved a 222-84 vote on June 1, has pitted the Business and Industry Association of New Hampshire against other business groups, such as the NH Clean Tech Council and the NH Timberland Owners Association.
The fight is far from over yet. The Senate still has to approve of House changes to the bill – which could happen on Thursday – or the measure could go to a committee of conference. And whatever emerges still could face a gubernatorial veto, if the BIA has its way.