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September 2007

Progress Energy Florida to purchase renewable energy from biomass plant

Progress Energy Florida has signed a long-term contract to purchase electricity generated by what will be the largest waste-wood biomass plant in the nation.

Biomass Gas & Electric (BG&E), based in Atlanta, plans to build a power plant in Florida that will use waste wood products such as yard trimmings, tree bark and wood knots from paper mills, to create electricity. It will generate about 75 megawatts. The plant is expected to avoid the need to burn nearly 5 million tons of coal over the 20-year life of the contract.

The plant will use gasification to create electricity. Projected commercial operation is expected to begin in 2011. It would be BG&E’s third biomass power plant.

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.