– by Mark Lisheron, May 7, 2018, Texas Monitor
For almost six years, Austin Energy customers have been paying about $54 million a year for a power plant in East Texas not to produce biomass energy.
Those customers also paid $128 million to build the plant.
Nearly two years ago, the city of Austin hired a staff of attorneys to see if Austin Energy could get out from under a 20-year contract that even supporters of the wood-burning power plant came to see as a terrible deal for utility customers.
– by Rukhushan Mir, May 10, 2018, Urdu Point
Photo: Urdu Point
Electricity generation from solar resources in the United States reached 77 million megawatthours (MWh) in 2017, surpassing annual generation from biomass resources for the first time, the U.S.
Energy Information Administration (EIA) said. According to the EIA, among renewable sources, only hydro and wind generated more electricity in 2017, at 300 million MWh and 254 million MWh, respectively.
Biomass generating capacity has remained relatively unchanged recently, while solar generating capacity has consistently risen. Annual growth in solar generation often lags annual capacity additions because generating capacity tends to be added late in the year.
– by Steve Mistler, April 5, 2018, Maine Public Radio
Photo: Maine Public Radio
The Maine Public Utilities Commission voted Wednesday to approve a $1.2 million taxpayer subsidy to an embattled biomass company operating two plants in West Enfield and Jonesboro.
The vote by the three-member commission largely followed the recommendation of PUC staff, which found last month that Stored Solar LLC met only one of its three contract obligations, while falling well short of the other two.
It maintained the agreed upon number of jobs, but purchased less than 40 percent of the waste wood it promised, and it spent $1 million less on capital expenditures than it was supposed to.
– by Avory Brookins, June 1, 2018, Rhode Island Public Radio
Photo: Oregon Department of Forestry
A Rhode Island bill that could have cleared the way for biomass power plants won’t move forward this legislative session.
Biomass is wood waste that is burned to generate electricity. It’s also considered a renewable resource.
The bill would have included biomass in the state’s “net-metering” program, which gives credits to customers for extra power generated by renewables, such as solar and wind, that flows back into the electrical grid. Those credits can lower ratepayers’ utility bills.
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[SPRING 2018] Debate Heats Up Over Biomass Energy from National Forests
FEATURE ARTICLE: Out of the Fryingpan and Into the Forest
OPINION (PRO): “Vegetation Management Project to Provide Forest Products, Biomass Energy” by Aspen/Sopris Ranger District, White River National Forest
OPINION (CON): “National Forest Project Bad for Environment and Climate” by Rocky Smith, Forest Management Analyst
– January 16, 2018, Norwich Bulletin
The Mohegan Tribe has created a company to export wood pellets as fuel to plants that produce electricity in the nation and worldwide.
Mohegan Renewable Energy recently acquired a 100,000-ton per year manufacturing plant in Crossville, Alabama, which along with a Jasper, Tennessee plant, will ship more than 180,000 tons of wood pellets per year to major utilities. More than 50 workers will be added in the coming months.