Category Archives: natural gas

[NEWS] Northern Michigan University Explains Why Biomass Heating Facility Is Idle

– by Julie Williams, February 8, 2018, WLUC

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Photo: Julie Williams / WLUC

The Ripley plant at Northern Michigan University supplies steam to most of campus and plays a critical part in keeping Northern and its students comfortable.

“We provide all of the heat to all the buildings that don’t have their own boilers and it heats water, it heats air and also provides some steam for humidification,” said Gisele Duehring, Associate Director of Facilities.

Ripley expanded with a biomass plant in 2012 and 2013 that cost roughly 16 million dollars but right now it is not being used.

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[NEWS] White House Decarbonization Report Addresses Bioenergy

– by Erin Voegele, November 16, 2016, Biomass Magazine

whitehouse_decarbonizationThe White House has published a mid-century strategy on decarbonization that addresses biofuels and bioenergy. On Nov. 16, the report was filed with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change under the Paris climate deal.

The White House committed to release the strategy, titled “United States Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization,” in March. At that time, the administration made a joint statement with Canada that indicated the two countries would work together to implement the Paris agreement as soon as feasible. In addition to implementing their respective Intended Nationally Determined Contributions, the leaders of both countries also committed to completing mid-century, long-term low greenhouse gas emission development strategies pursuant to the agreement.

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[EXCLUSIVE] The Future of Biomass Energy in Vermont

– by Josh Schlossberg, October 14, 2016, The Vermont Independent

Vermont’s 2016 Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) aims for a statewide transition to ninety percent renewable energy by 2050 while “virtually eliminating reliance on oil.”

To help reach these goals, the state seeks to cut energy consumption by fifteen percent by 2015 and by over one-third by 2050 through efficiency and conservation measures.

Within ten years Vermont hopes to procure twenty-five percent of its energy from renewables, with forty percent by 2035. For 2025, the breakdown would include sixty-seven percent renewable electricity, thirty percent renewable heating, and ten percent renewable transportation fuels.

A significant component of renewable energy would come from bioenergy, mostly sourced from forests, with a small percentage of agricultural crops such as willow and grasses.

The CEP outlines eight principles to guide the further development of bioenergy in the state.

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[NEWS] Hydrogen Chloride Violation and Dust Nuisance at Michigan Biomass Facility

– September 7, 2016, ABC 10 News

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L’Anse Warden, MI biomass facility (Photo: wnmufm.org)

A public hearing was held this evening addressing the Warden Power Plant in L’Anse requesting to change the mix of biofuel it currently uses to produce electrical power.

Two non-compliance issues have recently arose at the plant. After an inspection, the plant was found to be in violation of the hydrogen-chloride limit and after more than 60 complaints from L’Anse residents, a nuisance dust violation was also found.

“The citizens called and complained to us and we went out and investigated and we found wood dust on their property, on their vehicles so it was basically creating a nuisance for the neighbors and they were concerned about their health also,” said DEQ Air Quality Division, Chris Hare.

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[NEWS] Wisconsin Biomass Power Facility to Switch Over to Natural Gas This Summer

– by Thomas Content, June 19, Journal Sentinel

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Photo: We Energies

The plummeting price of natural gas and future environmental regulations are making utilities do things that were practically unheard of years ago, from shutting down nuclear plants to turning to natural gas for a variety of fuels in power plants.

Following the lead of Dominion Resources Inc., which shut down the Kewaunee Power Station nuclear power plant in Wisconsin three years ago, Chicago utility Exelon Corp. announced plans to shutter two Illinois nuclear plants early — unless the Illinois lawmakers agree to concessions that would allow the plants to be more cost-effective.

The moves are being driven by prices in the wholesale power market, including both the low cost of natural gas and the growing number of wind farms. Low-cost wind provides one-third of the electricity consumed in Iowa.

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