Progress Energy Florida contracts for second waste wood plant

Progress Energy Florida (PEF) has signed another contract with Biomass Gas & Electric LLC (BG&E) to purchase electricity from a second waste-wood biomass plant planned for Florida.

BG&E, based in Atlanta, Georgia, plans to build a power plant in north or Central Florida that will use waste wood products ā€” such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills ā€” to create electricity. It would generate about 75 megawatts, or enough electricity to power 46,000 homes.

The plant is expected to avoid the need to burn nearly 5 million tons of coal over the 20-year life of the contract. It would be identical to BG&Eā€™s waste-wood plant announced in July. Progress Energy Florida agreed to buy the output of that plant as well.

The plant will use gasification to create electricity. Projected commercial operation is expected to begin in June 2011, about six months after the first waste-wood plant. In total, BG&E has four biomass power plants planned for construction in the next four years.

The contract will be filed for consideration with the Florida Public Service Commission (PSC). The company seeks PSC approval of the contract and certification of the proposed plant as a qualifying facility under Florida laws and regulations that encourage renewable energy.