Backers ready to cut the ribbon on S.C. biomass plant

The U.S. Department of Energy and Ameresco Inc. (NYSE:AMRC), a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, will hold a ceremonial ribbon cutting March 12 to mark the successful operational startup of the DOE’s new Biomass Cogeneration Facility in Aiken, S.C.

DOE and Ameresco said in a March 7 announcement that the facility is at DOE’s Savannah River Site (SRS). The ribbon-cutting will culminate a 30-month construction effort for a 34-acre renewable energy facility at SRS. This award-winning plant replaces a deteriorating, inefficient coal powerhouse and also the oil-fired boilers at SRS, and has the capacity to combust 385,000 tons of forest residue annually into 20 MW of power.

Various officials, including Dave Moody, Manager, DOE-Savannah River, and George Sakellaris, Ameresco President and CEO, will participate in the ceremony.

“In May 2009, Ameresco was awarded the largest energy savings performance contract (ESPC) in U.S. history to build three biomass-fueled plants at the Department of Energy’s Savannah River site,” said the Ameresco website. “When completed, the plants will cogenerate 20 MW of power and 240,000 pounds of steam per hour using forest residue that is easily sourced in the nearby area. By switching the site to biomass fuel, the Department of Energy will get cost savings of $35 million annually while reducing sulfur dioxide emissions by 3,500 tons a year and carbon dioxide emissions by 100,000 tons a year, the equivalent of removing 9,000 cars from the road.”

About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.