Biomass to Electricity Backed by Energy Giants
Besides the biomass to electricity projects being backed by America's largest energy cooperative previously discussed at AFE, an even bigger North American cellulosic electricity play is being made by a cooperative venture between US and French energy giants.
Two of the world's largest energy conglomerates, France's AREVA and Duke Energy, yesterday announced at the annual meeting of the Clinton Global Initiative, that they will jointly develop biomass power plants in the United States. The joint venture will be called ADAGE Biopower, which will facilitate the development of biopower plants that will use wood waste and other biomass to produce electricity. The project comes at a time when Americans face soaring energy costs, when climate change is becoming a tangible problem, and when other renewables find it difficult to deliver power in a reliable manner.These plants will be in the 50 MW to 150 MW range, and will provide reliable baseload power--unlike wind and solar which are inherently unreliable in the absence of meaningful utility-scale electrical storage.
The AREVA/Duke agreement is one of the first biomass-to-electricity partnerships in the United States between major energy companies. Biomass is already the largest renewables sector in the EU, but now it seems the green baseload power solution is crossing the pond in earnest (less than a week ago, America's largest cooperative power supplier announced a $1.5 billion investment in biomass).
According to the agreement, AREVA will design and build biomass power plants. Duke Energy Generation Services (DEGS), a commercial power business unit of Duke Energy that owns and develops renewable energy, will manage operations. For each project, ADAGE will negotiate power purchase agreements and fuel contracts, and secure suitable sites. Hence, ADAGE will provide customers a fully integrated solution.
This project comes at exactly the right time as Americans face soaring energy prices and look to meet rising electricity demand with green energy sources. The ADAGE biopower facilities will respond to our nation's need for new baseload energy alternatives. - Jim Rogers, Duke Energy CEO
AREVA is developing a 50 megawatt (MW) design for ADAGE, with the intent of maximizing standardization wherever possible and take advantage of a fleet approach. A 50 MW ADAGE biomass plant would provide electricity for approximately 40,000 households and would avoid 400,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year compared to coal.
AREVA has extensive experience in the biomass sector, having designed and built more than 100 biopower facilities in Europe, Asia and South America with capacity of more than 2,500 megawatts. We are delighted to partner with Duke Energy, which has a growing portfolio of renewable assets throughout the U.S. market, and tremendous experience in operating power plants. - Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of AREVA _Biopact
Labels: cellulosic electricity