Georgia Power contracts with biomass wood plant
Georgia Power has significantly increased the amount
of energy under contract from independent renewable power producers and
further diversified its fuel mix by signing a contract with a plant that
will use wood biomass in Georgia to make electricity.
Georgia Power and Yellow Pine Energy Company, LLC, a biomass-fired facility
to be located near Fort Gaines, Georgia, recently signed a 20 year contract
for electricity that will be generated from environmentally-friendly
wood waste. The material will come from timber harvesting residuals and
collection of non-commercial tree species, tree-thinnings, lumber scraps
and wood waste reclaimed from landfills.
The Yellow Pine facility is scheduled to go into operation in 2010 and
will produce 110 megawatts of renewable energy. Under the contract, Georgia
Power will purchase almost half of the plant’s capacity, or about 50
megawatts. One megawatt is enough energy to supply a Wal-Mart shopping
center or 250 Georgia residences.
The Yellow Pine contract is the largest one to date that Georgia Power
has signed with a renewable generator. With the addition of this contract,
Georgia Power’s energy portfolio includes contracts with five qualified
biomass and renewable facilities throughout the state that generate 80
megawatts, or enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 homes.
These contracts include electricity generated from wood waste, landfill
methane gas and hydro. Georgia Power also buys energy from a dozen other
renewable sources when available.
Renewable electricity from Georgia’s biomass is growing rapidly for a
variety of reasons. In 2006, the Georgia Legislature passed House Bill
1018 which exempts biomass from fuel sales and use taxes, thereby making
it more cost competitive with traditional fuels.