Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Biomass Energy at Work: Baseload 24/7

The world produces abundant waste biomass which humans could be using as fuel, instead of coal, oil, and gas. Forward-thinking engineers and entrepreneurs are beginning to act on this promise, without waiting for corrupt bureaucrats and politicians to give them the go-ahead.
Renegy Holdings, Inc. (Renegy) (Nasdaq:RNGY) announced today that it has successfully synchronized its 24 megawatt (MW) biomass power plant located in Snowflake, Arizona, to the electric utility grid. As of April 24, Renegy has been generating electricity from its Snowflake facility and is currently selling test power in advance of commencing full commercial operations.

...The plant is located adjacent to a recycled newsprint mill owned and operated by Catalyst Paper Corp. Fuel for the plant will be derived from wood-waste material from local green waste sites and the surrounding forests and from waste recycled paper fibers generated by the newsprint mill. The current fuel inventory at the plant site includes approximately 200,000 tons of wood waste fuel, approximately equivalent to a two-year supply. The Snowflake plant will sell its entire power output through long-term power purchase agreements in place with Arizona Public Service and Salt River Project, Arizona's two largest electric utility companies. __Money.CNN
An earlier Al Fin posting recommended Renegy as a stock prospect to watch. Andritz, an Austrian company, is involved in similar biomass to electricity projects in Europe.

Biomass to electricity is a baseload, 24/7 renewable power generation approach, unlike current wind and solar energy schemes. Until battery storage is able to effectively scale up to utility needs, we are likely to see more plants that combine solar thermal with biomass to electricity, to provide 24 hour energy needs. Using biomass in place of coal or gas should provide significant energy savings--once the infrastructure for collecting and densitizing biomass is more mature.



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