Procter & Gamble, Constellation team on 50-MW Georgia biomass project

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC), announced Feb. 12 the development of an up to 50 MW biomass plant that will help run one of P&G’s largest U.S. facilities.

The plant will significantly increase P&G’s use of renewable energy, helping move the company closer to its 2020 goal of obtaining 30% of its total energy from renewable sources. Constellation will build, own and operate the $200m cogeneration plant, which will supply steam to P&G’s Albany, Ga., paper manufacturing facility and generate electricity for Georgia Power.

For more than 30 years, the Albany facility has successfully used a smaller onsite biomass boiler to convert wood scraps into steam, providing about 30% of the total energy. The new facility will replace P&G’s aging boiler with a highly efficient combined heat and power biomass unit. Incoming biomass will provide 100% of the steam, and 60%-70% of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue.

“At P&G, we are committed to improving the environmental sustainability of our products across all aspects of their life cycle – from manufacturing, packaging, delivery and consumer use,” said Martin Riant, P&G Executive Sponsor of Sustainability and Group President, Global Baby and Feminine & Family Care.

The facility is Constellation’s newest project in its active and growing distributed energy business, which has more than 300 MW of assets in operation or under development.

“Constellation is uniquely positioned to help support Procter & Gamble’s renewable energy goals because of our leadership in both retail energy supply and distributed generation,” said Constellation Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Gary Fromer. “Increasingly, our customers are looking for comprehensive energy options that enhance operational efficiencies and sustainability.”

In the initial planning for the facility, P&G and Constellation outlined sustainable “procurement standards” for the project. The plant’s fuel supply will come from biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned, or potentially sent to landfill, including discarded tree tops, limbs, branches and scrap wood from local forestry operations, crop residuals, such as pecan shells and peanut hulls, and mill waste, such as sawdust.

“We applaud P&G’s efforts to support renewable energy as part of its commitment to sustainability and for prioritizing responsible sourcing of inputs as an essential element of the project,” said Suzanne Apple, SVP, Private Sector Engagement at World Wildlife Fund. WWF and P&G have been working together for over four years on sustainable business practices, including the company’s emissions reductions and renewable energy.

Georgia Power’s purchase of energy from Constellation, at or below the Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) subsidiary’s avoided cost, is part of the company’s multifaceted strategy to encourage and cultivate renewable energy sources in Georgia and was made possible under a program developed in coordination with and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission. Constellation is currently under contract to sell 42 MW of capacity and energy from the 50-MW facility to Georgia Power.

“We’re committed to working with our customers, including leading Georgia businesses such as Procter & Gamble, to create new avenues for renewable energy innovation,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “The Albany project is a perfect illustration of this continued effort.”

DCO Energy will hold a minority stake in the project and provide engineering, procurement and construction services. Constellation’s affiliate, Exelon Generation, will operate and maintain the plant. Sterling Energy Assets worked with Constellation to develop the project. Construction activities have already begun on the site with the plant scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2017.

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.