Constellation eyes 2017 completion of 50-MW biomass plant in Georgia

The Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) and Constellation officials gathered with city, county and state officials on March 18 to celebrate the development of an up to 50-MW biomass plant that will help run one of P&G’s largest U.S. manufacturing facilities.

Scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2017, the plant will provide 100% of the steam, and up to 60%-70% of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue at P&G’s Albany, Ga., facility. Constellation will build, own and operate the $200 million cogeneration plant, which in addition to supplying steam to the P&G facility will generate electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power.

Representatives from P&G, Constellation and Georgia Power thanked the community for its support of the project. Construction activities are expected to create up to 500 new jobs over the next two years, with an additional 50 to 70 permanent local jobs for ongoing operations once the plant is built.

The biomass plant will significantly increase P&G’s use of renewable energy, helping get the company nearly halfway to its 2020 goal of obtaining 30% of its total energy from renewable sources. Currently, 8% of P&G energy comes from renewable sources around the world powered by wind, solar and geothermal.

Constellation is currently under contract to sell 42 MW of capacity and energy from the 50-MW facility to Georgia Power, which purchases the energy at or below Georgia Power’s avoided cost. DCO Energy will hold a minority stake in the project and provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Constellation’s affiliate, Exelon Generation, will operate and maintain the plant. Sterling Energy Assets worked with Constellation to develop the project.

Tours of the facility showcased the existing 30-year old P&G boiler, which provides 30% of the total energy at the plant and saves on average $3 million a year compared to natural gas costs. The new plant will more than double the current total energy output and will be fueled from biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned, or potentially sent to landfill. P&G worked with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) to create sustainable fuel supply “procurement standards,” which complement P&G’s wood fiber procurement policy for its tissue, towel and absorbent hygiene business.

Said Gary Fromer, Senior Vice President, Distributed Energy, Constellation: “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. Increasingly, our customers are looking for comprehensive energy options that enhance operational efficiencies and sustainability.”

Said Norrie McKenzie, Vice President of Renewable Development for 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. The Albany project is a perfect illustration of this continued effort.”

Constellation is a leading competitive retail supplier of power, natural gas and energy products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. Baltimore-based Constellation is a subsidiary of Exelon Corp. (NYSE: EXC), the nation’s leading competitive energy provider, with 2014 revenues of approximately $27.4 billion, and more than 32,500 MW of owned capacity comprising one of the nation’s cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets.

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.