Georgia plans Dec. 18 hearing on 11.5-MW Green biomass plant

The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) will host a forum Dec. 18 in Lithonia, Ga., to answer questions and also receive formal comments regarding the application for an air quality permit for the Green Energy Resource Center biomass-fired power plant.

During the meeting, EPD representatives will make a brief presentation before holding a Q&A session with those attending. EPD will follow the Q&A session with a public hearing to receive formal comments regarding the application for a permit. EPD will accept formal comments at the public hearing and in writing through Dec. 26.

“Residents and interested parties need to be aware of the pertinent air quality regulations and the air permitting process,” said Eric Cornwell, manager of the Stationary Source Permitting Program of EPD’s Air Protection Branch, in a Dec. 4 announcement. “We will consider all air quality related comments prior to making a decision whether to recommend permit issuance.”

Green Energy Partners–DeKalb LLC plans the construction of an 11.5 MW (gross) power generation facility in Lithonia, DeKalb County. The facility will be operated under the name Green Energy Resource Center (GERC).

The plant will process approximately 165,000 tons per year of wood biomass (clean, untreated wood and yard biomass) based on a moisture content of approximately 30%. The proposed biomass system will consist of two Hurst wood-fired boilers, with a maximum gross heat input rating of 93.22 million British thermal units per hour (MMBtu/hr) each, for a total of 186.44 MMBtu/hr. The boilers will provide steam to a condensing steam turbine generator to produce electricity. The facility will normally operate 24 hours per day to produce electricity, 365 days per year, except for two weeks per year of scheduled maintenance. The permit is requested for plant operation of 8,760 hours per year.

On July 24, Georgia Power filed a contract with the Georgia Public Service Commission under which it will buy power from this project. The contract itself was filed with PSC staff under seal. Georgia Power is a unit of Southern Co. (NYSE: SO).

“On March 13, 2012, Georgia Power Company (‘Georgia Power’) and Green Energy Partners-DeKalb, LLC (‘GEP-DeKalb’) executed a Certain Contract for the Purchase of Firm Capacity and Energy from a Renewable Facility Utilizing the Proxy Unit Methodology (‘QF Proxy Contract’),” said the brief cover letter.

The contract will provide Georgia Power with 10 MW of capacity and energy from GEP-Dekalb’s Qualifying Facility generator located in Lithonia, Ga. “This QF Proxy Contract will meet a portion of the need identified in Georgia Power’s 2015 Request for Proposals. Georgia Power hereby requests that the Georgia Public Service Commission (‘Commission’) approve this QF Proxy Contract,” the cover letter said.

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.