Thursday, August 21, 2008

150 MW Biomass Generator Planned for Bristol

The greatest disadvantage to the use of biomass power generation on a large scale, is the sheer bulk and mass of the feedstock necessary to produce industrial scale power. There are several ways to solve the problem, but the use of cheap shipping by boat is one viable approach.
At 150MW, the proposed Portbury Dock Renewable Energy Plant would generate enough power for more than 200,000 homes by burning wood that would largely be brought to the plant by boat. Transporing biomass fuels in bulk by boat is highly energy efficient.

...Portbury Dock is the third of E.ON's biomass developments in the UK. The company already operates Scotland's largest dedicated biomass power station at Steven's Croft near Lockerbie and, earlier this year, received permission for a 25MW biomass station in Sheffield _Biopact
As the prices of oil, gas, and coal rise, biomass will become a more attractive alternative for electric power production and combined heat and power (CHP). Using cheap marine freight is one way around the bulkiness of the feedstock. For the majority of locations lacking a seaport, however, local and regional pre-processing and refinement of the feedstock to a more manageable and transportable form will be necessary. Biomass can now be converted to denser "bio-coal" (torrefaction), bio-gas (treated syngas), and liquid fuel (BTL), for local use or for transport. Biomass can also be baled, cubed, pelletised, and otherwise pre-processed for more convenient shipping and use.

The key to a broader use of biomass is diversification of approaches to best suit the available feedstock, installed infrastructure, and manpower expertise.

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