INSIDE: HOW GILLS ONIONS CONVERTS ITS WASTE TO ENERGY
Why Supply Agreements are Key to Financing Power Projects Page 34
PLUS: How San Jose Developed a Model Waste-to-Energy Project Page 40
How the US Can Realize CHP's Full Potential Page 46
PACIFIC WEST EVENT
January 10â€“12, 2011 Sheraton Seattle Hotel Seattle, Washington
Attend. Exhibit. Sponsor. With an exclusive focus on biomass utilization in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada, the Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show is a dynamic regional offshoot of Biomass Power & Thermalâ€™s International Biomass Conference & Expo, the largest event of its kind in the world.
Visit www.biomassconference.com/pacificwest and: View interactive exhibitor map See conference sponsors and review sponsor benefits Register to attend Explore conference agenda And much more!
Contact Us: 866-746-8385 firstname.lastname@example.org
OCTOBER 2010 | VOLUME 4 | ISSUE 10
FEATURES 34 FEEDSTOCK Supply, Supply, Supply A well-crafted biomass fuel supply agreement is a powerful tool for developers to use when they are trying to raise money for power projects. By Lisa Gibson
40 ANAEROBIC DIGESTION Zero Tolerance for Waste San Jose, Calif., is developing an anaerobic digestion system that converts organic waste into energy, which other municipalities will want to duplicate. By Lisa Gibson
46 CHP Cogeneration Sensation
TAKING OUT THE TRASH: San Jose, Calif., is working on a waste dry anaerobic fermentation process to divert more waste from landfills.
What will it take for combined heat and power, or cogeneration—once referred to by the U.S. DOE as the most promising option in the nation’s energy efficiency portfolio—to reach its full potential? By Anna Austin
DEPARTMENTS 04 EDITOR’S NOTE Zeroing in on Power and Thermal By Rona Johnson
05 ADVERTISER INDEX 06 INDUSTRY EVENTS 08 POWER PLATFORM Biomass Industry Pushes Back Against Potentially Harmful Laws By Bob Cleaves
10 THERMAL DYNAMICS Bridging the Knowledge Gap By Kyle Gibeault
12 ENERGY REVIEW Water Usage in Biopower Production By Bruce Folkedahl
CONTRIBUTIONS 52 EFFICIENCY Energy Master Plans Streamline Operational Efficiency, Reduce Costs Businesses benefit from developing detailed energy management plans that can help them achieve efficiency and sustainability goals. By Jerry Carter and Zach Platis
58 INNOVATION Onion Processor Uses AD, Fuel Cells to Convert Waste Into Energy California-based Gills Onions uses its waste to produce its own electricity, allowing the company to save on power bills and protect against costly blackouts. By Kristina Gerber and Denise Johnston
13 LEGAL PERSPECTIVE New Possibilities in the Hunt for Biomass Project Financing By Hamang Patel
14 BUSINESS BRIEFS 16 BIOBYTES 18 INDUSTRY NEWS 64 MARKETPLACE OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 3
Zeroing in on Power and Thermal
RONA JOHNSON Editor email@example.com
I am pleased to announce that Biomass Magazine is now Biomass Power & Thermal. Although it may look like a subtle change on the magazine cover, it is an important transformation in content. As the new title implies, we will strictly cover biomass-based electricity and heat. Historically this magazine also reported on biomass fuels and chemicals, however these topics are now the dedicated the focus of BBI International’s new publication Biorefining. The magazine's title and scope were changed because biomass involves a vast array of feedstocks and technologies and we want to provide readers with ample coverage of all aspects of the industry. It also allows readers and advertisers to hone in on their area of expertise, whether its biomass power, heat, fuels or chemicals. Specifically, it allows the staff of Biomass Power & Thermal to drill even deeper into every facet of biomass power and thermal including producers, feedstocks, technologies, research and development, project development, transportation and storage logistics, state and local legislation, advocacy groups, businesses and people. When we first started the magazine three years ago, we quickly realized that other than the feedstocks they use, there is a vast divide between the power and thermal, and biofuel and chemical spheres. The most obvious being the prolonged existence of the use of biomass for heat and power versus the nascent biofuels and biochemical industries. There are also a myriad of state and federal rules and regulations, programs and funding opportunities, and environmental challenges that affect all users of biomass that deserve more concentrated coverage. While these industries are forced to compete for attention and funding from state and federal governments, we wanted to make sure they didn’t have to fight for space in our publications. As our mission statement establishes: Biomass Power & Thermal’s international readership includes owners and managers of biomass power, combined heat and power, and district heating facilities; pellet manufacturing plant owners and managers; professionals working in captive feedstock industries—from food processing and waste management to agriculture and forest products manufacturing—and a growing number of industrial manufacturers, municipal decision makers, researchers, and technology providers engaged in biomass utilization globally. As a reader, I would see this as a sign that BBI International is confident in the use of biomass as a substitute for fossil fuels and that all of these industries will continue to flourish. The space below this column will be used to showcase associate editors, contributors or for letters to the editor. This week we are highlighting our associate editors.
For more news, information and perspective, visit www.biomassmagazine.com
Associate Editors Lisa Gibson authored the cover story “Supply, Supply, Supply” to echo a theme we’ve been hearing at our regional biomass conferences about the importance of having signed fuel supply agreements when developing biomass power projects. Gibson also profiled a waste-to-energy project in San Jose, Calif., that should serve as a model for other cities.
Anna Austin wrote the “Cogeneration Sensation” feature to get a sense of the interest in combined-heat-and-power systems, determine who are the best candidates for installation and find out what kinds of challenges and opportunities developers are facing.
Associate Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
Associate Editor email@example.com
4 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
EDITORIAL EDITOR Rona Johnson firstname.lastname@example.org ASSOCIATE EDITORS Anna Austin email@example.com Lisa Gibson firstname.lastname@example.org COPY EDITOR Jan Tellmann email@example.com
2010 Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show
2011 Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show
2 & 65
ADI Systems Inc.
Advanced Trailer Industries
AMANDUS KAHL GmbH & Co. KG
Bandit Industries, Inc.
ART DIRECTOR Jaci Satterlund firstname.lastname@example.org
Christianson & Associates, PLLP
Church & Dwight Co., Inc.
GRAPHIC DESIGNER Elizabeth Burslie email@example.com
CPM Roskamp Champion
PUBLISHING & SALES CHAIRMAN Mike Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org CEO Joe Bryan email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT Tom Bryan firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT, SALES & MARKETING Matthew Spoor email@example.com
CW Mill Equipment Co., Inc.
Detroit Stoker Company
E3 2010 Conference
Energy & Environmental Research Center
Everlasting Valve Company
Hurst Boiler & Welding Co. Inc.
Indeck Power Equipment Co.
Keith Manufacturing Company
MAC Equipment EXECUTIVE ACCOUNT MANAGER Howard Brockhouse firstname.lastname@example.org SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Jeremy Hanson email@example.com ACCOUNT MANAGERS Marty Steen firstname.lastname@example.org Chip Shereck email@example.com Bob Brown firstname.lastname@example.org Gary Shields email@example.com Andrea Anderson firstname.lastname@example.org CIRCULATION MANAGER Jessica Beaudry email@example.com SUBSCRIBER ACQUISITION MANAGER Jason Smith firstname.lastname@example.org ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Marla DeFoe email@example.com
Organic Power Solutions, LLC
Outotec (Filters) Oy
Precision Machine & Mfg. Inc.
Process Equipment/Barron Industries
R.C. Costello & Assoc. Inc.
Schutte-Buffalo Hammer Mill
The Teaford Co. Inc.
West Salem Machinery
Weston Solutions, Inc.
Wolf Material Handling Systems
Subscriptions Subscriptions to Biomass Power & Thermal are $24.95 per year in the U.S; $39.95 in Canada and Mexico; and $49.95 outside North America. Subscriptions can be completed online at www. BiomassMagazine.com or subscribe over the phone at (701) 746-8385. Back Issues & Reprints Select back issues are available for $3.95 each, plus shipping. Article reprints are also available for a fee. For more information, contact us at (701) 746-8385 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Advertising Biomass Power & Thermal provides a specific topic delivered to a highly targeted audience. We are committed to editorial excellence and high-quality print production. To find out more about Biomass Power & Thermal advertising opportunities, please contact us at (701) 746-8385 or email@example.com. Letters to the Editor We welcome letters to the editor. Send to Biomass Power & Thermal Letters to the Editor, 308 2nd Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203 or e-mail to rjohnson@bbiinternational. com. Please include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited for clarity and/or space.
Please recycle this magazine and remove inserts or samples before recycling
Cert no. SCS-COC-00648
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 5
¦INDUSTRY EVENTS Biomass South 2010 October 14-15, 2010 Holiday Inn at University of Memphis Memphis, Tennessee This event establishes the South’s leadership position in the transformation of the global economy from fossil fuel to biobased economy. The conference will promote a comprehensive vision of the emerging bio-economy; provide objective analysis of the region’s feedstocks and bioprocessing technologies; facilitate new partnerships and collaborations to build the regional renewable supply chain; support companies seeking to develop regional projects; outline the leadership role and growth of biomass in the current economy; direct public/private resources to promising projects; and develop alliances with key policy makers. (919) 941-5145 http://biomasssouth2010
10th Annual BioCycle Renewable Energy Conference from Organics Recycling October 18-20, 2010 Des Moines Marriott Downtown Hotel Des Moines, Iowa Project managers, policy makers, investors, utilities, consultants, farmers and researchers will learn from an outstanding faculty of speakers who will focus on latest developments in advanced systems, operations at innovative projects, economic and energy performance, and public policies that are helping to facilitate and fund development. Conference highlights include: renewable energy and sustainable communities; urban renewable energy opportunities; entrepreneurs in the biogas space; sourcing organics for codigestion and optimizing digester management. (610) 967-4135, ext. 22 www.jgpress.com/biocycleenergy/index.html
Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show
November 2-4, 2010
November 10-December 1, 2010
Hyatt Regency Atlanta Atlanta, Georgia With an exclusive focus on biomass utilization in the Southeast—from the Virginias to the Gulf Coast—this event is one of three distinct regional offshoots of the International Biomass Conference & Expo. Produced by Biomass Power & Thermal and Biorefining magazines, the program will include more than 60 speakers within four tracks: electricity generation; industrial heat and power; biorefining; and biomass project development and finance. (701) 746-8385 www.biomassconference.com/southeast
Saint Paul RiverCentre St. Paul, Minnesota Researchers, students, government officials, and nonprofit and business leaders from Minnesota and across the nation are expected to attend this event, which will focus on the intersection among innovative technologies and policies, environmental benefits and emerging market opportunities in the renewable energy sector. The goal of E3 is to share knowledge and discoveries in the areas of renewable energy and the environment while bringing together the world’s leading researchers and experts. (612) 626-1202 www1.umn.edu/iree/e3
Pacific West Biomass Conference & Trade Show
International Biomass Conference & Expo
January 10-12, 2011
May 2-5, 2011
Sheraton Seattle Hotel Seattle, Washington With an exclusive focus on biomass utilization in California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho and Nevada, the event, produced by Biomass Power & Thermal and Biorefining magazines, is one of three distinct regional offshoots of the International Biomass Conference & Expo. The program will focus on the vast potential for biomass utilization in the Pacific West, featuring more than 60 speakers within four tracks: electricity generation; industrial heat and power; biorefining; and biomass project development and finance. (701) 746-8385 www.biomassconference.com/pacificwest
America’s Center St. Louis. Missouri The largest, fastest growing event in the biomass industry was attended in 2010 by 1,700 industry professionals from 49 states and 25 nations representing nearly every geographical region and sector of the world’s interconnected biomass utilization industries—power, thermal energy, fuels and chemicals. With six tracks, 38 panels, 120 speakers, 400 exhibitors and an anticipated 2,500 attendees in 2011, the event will continue to be the industry’s leading educational, networking and business development forum. Speaker abstracts are now being accepted online. (701) 746-8385 www.biomassconference.com
International Congress on Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy Sources for Southeast Europe
International Fuel Ethanol Workshop & Expo
May 2-5, 2011
Indiana Convention Center Indianapolis, Indiana Entering its 27th year, the FEW is the largest, longest-running ethanol conference in the world. The FEW is renowned for its superb programming which remains focused on commercial-scale ethanol production—both grain and cellulosic—operational efficiencies, plant management, energy use, and near-term research and development. With five tracks, 32 panels, 100 speakers, 400 exhibitors and an anticipated 2,500 attendees in 2011, the FEW remains the ethanol industry’s leading production-oriented educational, networking and business development forum. Speaker abstracts are now being accepted online. (701) 746-8385 www.fuelethanolworkshop.com
Inter Expo Center Sofia, Bulgaria This event offers innovative technologies and practices, strong international participation, numerous new business contacts and many parallel initiatives and discussions. Speakers from Bulgarian and other foreign companies, institutions and associations will present the latest achievements and novelties in the field of the renewable energy and energy efficiency: technologies for solar, wind, hydro, geothermal and bioenergy, energy efficient solutions, project financing and investment. +35932/ 945 459, 960 011, 960 012 www.viaexpo.com
6 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
June 27-30, 2011
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Biomass Industry Pushes Back Against Potentially Harmful Laws BY BOB CLEAVES
Biomass Power Association has been busy articulating to various state and federal agencies that certain proposed laws would harm the biomass industry, the larger renewable energy sector and the nation. There have been countless misunderstandings that have resulted in potentially damaging environment rulings proposed to regulate biomass power. As president of BPA, I have been working hard to represent our members’ best interests in the sometimes fierce battles with government agencies that have their states’ best intentions in mind but do not understand biomass or “biomass done right.” These agencies do not understand the implications their laws may have on a growing industry that contributes so much to the country, and it is of the utmost importance that we explain to them the harm these rulings will cause. BPA submitted comments to two government agencies—one federal and one state—to help clarify the misconceptions surrounding our industry. In both cases, BPA is fighting on behalf of not only biomass, but the entire renewable energy industry. Most people are surprised to learn that biomass supplies more than 50 percent of the nation’s renewable energy supply. In August, BPA submitted comments to Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources, the agency in charge of the environment, because the DOER misinterpreted the Manomet Center for Conservation Sciences report and used it as the basis for a proposed rule that would greatly increase efficiency criteria for biomass facilities. Complicating matters, the agency endeavored to circumvent normal procedure that prevented Massachusetts residents from expressing their civic right to weigh in on this issue. The comments we submitted to DOER questioned the proposed rule itself and the process by which the rule is being considered. Our comments clarified that biomass done right works and explained why the Manomet report did not provide a clear picture of biomass and its actual emissions: “Fundamentally, all of Secretary [Ian] Bowles’ regulatory directives are misplaced and inappropriate for a simple reason: the Manomet study has absolutely nothing to do with the way that biomass energy is produced, or likely to be produced, anywhere in New England. Quite simply, Secretary Bowles took the results of the study to sug8 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
gest sweeping changes in the RPS without listening to the very authors of Manomet who, immediately after issuing the report, made clear that it was not a study of nonforest harvested biomass … In other words, the very authors of the study that the commonwealth is now relying upon to regulate all biomass make clear that their results are not relevant for all biomass.” BPA also submitted comments in August to the U.S. EPA in response to their proposed Boiler MACT rule, which would all but cease biomass production across the country by making emissions standards unattainable and unrealistic. We agreed that measures must be taken to protect public health and the health of the forests, but pointed out that the Boiler MACT rule was not the way to go about this. Rather, we suggested, EPA should consider tailored emissions standards for each industry based on an evaluation of specific criteria, such as types of boilers and fuels: "In light of the overwhelming support for biomass from every corner of government, it is imperative that EPA adopt a rule that is protective of the public health and the environment while also allowing this critically important energy source to be fully utilized. We are concerned that the proposed rules will impose tens of billions of dollars in capital costs at thousands of facilities across the country. Thus, we ask EPA to consider flexible approaches that appropriately address the diversity of boilers, operations, sectors and fuels that could prevent severe job losses and billions of dollars in unnecessary regulatory costs." In both instances, the biomass industry stepped up to the plate to educate the uninitiated about what we do. And we must continue to do so when false accusations emerge. As many forms of renewable technology remain in their infancy, or even adolescence, biomass is a mature renewable energy source that is critical to meeting the nation’s ambitious clean energy goals. I truly believe we are making progress and hope that the two government agencies considering stricter biomass rules will make the right decision. Author: Bob Cleaves President and CEO, Biomass Power Association www.USABiomass.org
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Bridging the Knowledge Gap BY KYLE GIBEAULT
One doesn’t need to conduct extensive surveys to know that many in the United States have little knowledge about biomass and its use as a renewable source of energy. Everyone has seen and can describe windmills and solar panels, but how many in the public have even heard of a biomass boiler? Sustainable, homegrown biomass energy should be in the public lexicon along with the other renewables. If you’re reading this article, you probably already know that biomass energy can create domestic jobs, replace fossil fuels and help put the U.S. on the path to a renewable-powered future. You also know that just like every other energy source, biomass has its advantages and disadvantages. The problem we face today is that much of the public— and many policymakers—remain unaware, confused or misinformed about the benefits of using biomass for energy. Put simply, the biomass brand needs a boost. The potential of biomass energy in the U.S. is extraordinary. In our trade association, we have members installing wood boilers to replace oil heat systems in the Northeast; members growing miscanthus or selling agricultural byproducts in the Midwest; and members developing biomass combined-heat-and-power projects across the country. The economic and environmental benefits of these projects are real. The fuel supply is otherwise lowvalue residues or purpose-grown energy crops. On a number of levels, heating or CHP with biomass makes sense. For BTEC, our challenge lies in making the public and policymakers understand this message. Bridging the knowledge gap on biomass energy is a hurdle that we all must overcome, no matter the feedstock or end-use. Whether woody or nonwoody, power or transportation fuels or heating, we can all agree that a considerable increase in awareness
10 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
and support for biomass energy technologies is needed. The conversation needs to shift away from the instances where biomass energy isn’t a suitable solution towards the wealth of real-world, cuttingedge biomass projects that are in operation or under development today. BTEC is taking action to change the discussion. We were recently awarded a grant by the U.S. Forest Service to develop educational resources on the potential and benefits of biomass thermal energy. We will be producing fact sheets, webinars, audio interviews and Web resources on the issues most relevant for our sector. You can find out more information on this project on our website, www. biomassthermal.org. The education and outreach challenge goes beyond biomass thermal, however. This common problem requires a common solution. Granted, each sector of the biomass energy industry has its own advantages and disadavantages, its own goals and objectives, but the media and the public are often not as discerning. To many, biomass is biomass, plain and simple. Despite our potential differences, stakeholders in the biomass industry should consider whether there are universal principles and messages that can help us rise above the fragmented front we have put forth to this point. I invite any comments or discussion on this idea. In the long run, presenting a unified voice may be our best shot in getting biomass energy the recognition it so rightly deserves. If we’re all going to be in the same boat, we should work together to decide the destination. Author: Kyle Gibeault Deputy Director, Biomass Thermal Energy Council (202) 596-3974, ext. 327 email@example.com
Reducing Water Usage in Biopower Production BY BRUCE FOLKEDAHL
The power industry is second only to agriculture as the largest domestic user of water, accounting for 39 percent of all freshwater withdrawals in the nation, of which 71 percent is used in fossil fuel-based electrical generation. The same technologies used to produce electricity from fossil-based fuels are, and will continue to be, used for a significant amount of biomass-based power production. Much of the water used for power generation, including biomass power generation, is consumed in the condensing step of the system where the steam exiting the turbine is cooled and condensed back to water. This water is sent back to the boiler for reconversion to steam to spin the generator to produce electricity. This steam is in a closed loop and has small losses from venting of steam and blowdown of water in the steam cycle to reduce impurities in the steam system. It is in the cooling loop, separate from the steam system, where water is used to condense the steam which has the most significant losses. The water in this loop is cooled by evaporation in large cooling towers to cool the water that is then used to condense the steam. The availability of water for use in biomass electric power generation is limited in many parts of the United States, and biomass power plants must compete with other industrial customers, agricultural interests and households for this limited commodity. Therefore, water is an important factor in obtaining site permits for new biomass power plant construction. Difficulty in obtaining necessary water permits can lead to delayed or abandoned projects. Also, it is often the case that additional infrastructure is required to provide a suitable supply, adding cost and environmental impact. In areas that do not have an adequate water source, biomass power plant construction is often not even considered, even though these locations are ideal in other respects. In addition, potential regulations curtailing CO2 emissions will impact water use. Because of the corrosive nature of
12 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
carbonic acid, water will need to be removed to low levels prior to pipelining the CO2 to its final destination. The EERC in conjunction with a commercial partner investigated a unique technology aimed at reducing the water use in power production systems that has many potential applications. This technology is a liquid desiccant dehumidification system (LDDS). The LDDS is an absorption-based system designed to recover moisture from process gas streams. This gas may be the effluent from an ethanol process, the exhaust from a biomass power generation system or any other moisture-rich gas stream. The LDDS concept has several features that make it potentially attractive for integration with a biomass utilization process: • The desiccant solution separates the process gas and moisture condensation space. In this respect, the LDDS performs a similar function to a water-selective membrane, but it is more robust and can resist fouling in harsh gas environments. • The LDDS produces high-quality product water without additional treatment. • The LDDS does not completely cool the process gas stream, which is an important consideration if the gas is to be exhausted to a stack. This is just one example where the EERC can play a part in cooperation with the biomass industry to provide value-added services and processes. The EERC is committed to reducing the water footprint of biomass utilization systems, whether it is in power production or in the production of bioproducts or biofuels, and is working with industry to do so. Author: Bruce Folkedahl Senior Research Manager, Energy & Environmental Research Center (701) 777-5243 firstname.lastname@example.org
New Possibilities in the Hunt for Biomass Project Financing BY HAMANG PATEL
A lack of financing for biomass projects is a common lament for most biomass developers. As many developers already know, new market tax credit financing is a great way to obtain financing at better than market rates for biomass projects, if you can get the attention of a small group of banks with interest. Fortunately, a recent taxpayer-friendly ruling by the IRS creates new opportunities to attract individual investors to serve as the tax credit investor.
Background The new market tax credit program was created more than a decade ago as a way to direct funds to businesses located in low-income census districts. The program provides an investor with a federal income tax credit equal to 39 percent of an investment in an intermediary entity (referred to as a community development entity), which loans the investor's fund to the biomass project. This loan must be interest-only for at least seven years and have an interest rate at least 25 percent below a market rate. Under certain structures, a lender typically will discharge a substantial portion of the principal after seven years (after all, the lender has recouped its investment from the generous 39 percent tax credit and often doesn't also need a return of all of the principal). A biomass project will qualify for this financing as long as the project is located in a low-income census district. A liberal definition of "low-income" covers almost 40 percent of the United States, including many rural districts. A federal website mapping feature identifies whether an address is in a low-income census district (www.cdfifund.gov/what_we_do/mapping.asp). New market tax credit financing can also be coupled with traditional waste-to-energy financing, such as the production tax credit (PTC), investment tax credit (ITC), or the federal 1603 grant.
Current Tax Credit Problems To state the obvious, the tax credit appetite of banks has declined sharply in recent years. Nonetheless, there are still plenty of individual investors who are interested in offsetting taxable income. Until now, individual investors have shied away from investing in new market tax credits, because it has been assumed that these credits were subject to the restrictive passive activity tax limits (as is the case with the PTC and ITC), which limits the use of these credits for most individuals.
IRS Ruling In a June 2010 ruling, the IRS clarified that new market tax credits are not subject to these passive activity rules. This ruling creates opportunities for project developers to raise funds by finding one (or likely multiple) individual investors who could serve as new market tax credit investors. From the perspective of an individual investor, the return on a new market credit investment is comparable to a market-rate loan, but with a portion of the return coming in the form of tax credits. An individual investor's evaluation of this return would not be conceptually dissimilar from the way in which he or she would approach tax-exempt municipal bonds (i.e., the return should be calculated on an after-tax basis). While the task of finding financing for a biomass project is still not easy, this recent ruling at least opens new financing sources for a developer. Author: Hamang Patel Attorney, Michael Best & Friedrich LLP (608) 283-2278 email@example.com
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 13
Business Briefs PEOPLE, PRODUCTS & PARTNERSHIPS
James River Equipment joins Morbark family James River Equipment, specializing in heavy equipment sales, service and parts, is now the authorized dealer of Morbark industrial equipment in all of Virginia and North Carolina and two counties in South Carolina. In business for more than 30 years, James River Equipment has 25 locations throughout Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. They sell and service a full range of equipment in many industries including construction, forestry, paving, mining, agricultural, and consumer and commercial lawn care. Renewables specialist Consense scoops top national award Consense, which specializes in providing online consultation for the renewables sector, won the SME Innovation award at the National eWell-Being Awards 2010 and was selected by the judges as the overall winner of this year’s awards (beating more than 42 finalists across nine categories). Consense won for its Open Debate online consultation system which enables much wider community consultation and engagement for proposed renewable energy developments.
Track chipper redesign melds comfort with power
B&W subsidiary DPS to provide O&M services for Georgia biomass plant Delta Power Services LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Babcock & Wilcox
PHOTO: BANDIT INDUSTRIES INC.
Former US Ag Secretary joins Bion Bion Environmental Technologies Inc. announced that Ed Schafer, former governor of North Dakota and former secretary of the USDA, has agreed to join Bion’s management team through the end of 2013. Schafer will provide Bion with strategic advice, focusing on areas of public policy related to the livestock industry both domestically and internationally. In addition to his public sector experience, he has successfully led a multi-national consumer products business and several entrepreneurial start-up companies.
Sweet Ride: Bandit Industries Inc. has redesigned its track chipper with an eye toward the operator’s comfort and productivity needs.
With the recent redesign of the Bandit Model 3090 Track Chipper, land clearing contractors and loggers now have power and productivity without sacrificing operator comfort. Key upgrades to this 30-inch capacity chipper include a spacious operator’s cab with a rear entry door, an emergency escape door on the left and a pop-out escape window on the right. Convenient joystick controls operate all functions of the machine; from the loader’s main and jib boom movement, to the engine controls and feed system. Optional monitors provide a view of the discharge and infeed system from the operator’s cab. Anguil Environmental launches new website Anguil Environmental Systems Inc. launched a new interactive website that further defines its position as a pollution control thought leader and information resource for clients. The fully redesigned website, http:// anguil.com, focuses on information efficiency, quality content and effortless navigation. Anguil Environmental Systems case studies are now searchable by the 16 different industries they serve.
14 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
Power Generation Group Inc., has signed a multiyear, renewable contract to provide operations and maintenance services for Rollcast Energy's Piedmont Green Power biomass energy project in Barnesville, Ga. B&W PGG is a subsidiary of The Babcock & Wilcox Co. The 53.5 megawatt Piedmont Green Power plant is scheduled to go online in 2012. DPS will provide a variety of services for the facility both during construction and after the plant is operational, including selecting the site staff, managing day-to-day plant operations, performing equipment maintenance and repair services, and administering project contracts. BinMaster improves high temp vibrating rods The BinMaster Super High Temperature vibrating rod features a newly developed piezo system built specifically for higher process temperatures up to 482 degrees Fahrenheit (250 degrees Celsius). The SHT’s patented re-enforced membrane and the new piezo system features a standard insulation tube that insulates the electronics from excessive heat. The entire probe is constructed of stainless steel, and the electronics are mounted inside an IP66 /IP67 aluminum enclosure for advanced protection. The SHT can be used in all kinds of powdered or granular solids from light, fluffy materials with a minimum material density of 1 to one-fourth pounds
SOURCE: JOHN DEERE
John Deere launches educational woody biomass website
Learning Experience: John Deere launched a new user-friendly website that helps educate and inform visitors about woody biomass.
John Deere Construction & Forestry has launched a woody biomass website (www.woodybiomass.com) designed to educate and inform about the importance of harvesting woody biomass. The user-friendly website explains what woody biomass is, why harvesting it is important, how it works as a fuel and what types of innovative public policies are needed to encourage responsible harvesting and the use of woody biomass. Vermeer launches multilingual, multimedia website To better connect with customers worldwide, Vermeer Corp. has launched a new multilingual and multimedia website designed to provide easy access to product and market-specific industry information. The redesigned Vermeer.com site provides detailed information on the current line of Vermeer products. The redesigned site can serve as an industry resource, providing information on market trends, equipment maintenance and operational tips, as
Nexterra recognized for best application of technology Nexterra Systems Corp. announced that it has received the Best Application of Technology Award from the British Columbia Technology Industry Association. This award recognizes Nexterra’s biomass gasification system at Kruger Products LP’s new Westminster tissue mill. The system converts wood residue into cleanburning syngas that is being fired directly into a boiler to generate 40,000 pounds per hour of process steam. The project will displace about 400,000 gigajoules of natural gas per year and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20,000 metric tons annually, which is equivalent to taking 5,500 cars off the road. Capstone C1000 Series receives UL certification Capstone Turbine Corp., a manufacturer of microturbine energy systems, announced that it has received Underwriters Laboratories certification for its C1000 Series products in accordance with UL 2200 and UL 1741. The C1000 is a compact and robust 1 megawatt power system that provides the same low emissions, low noise, high efficiency and extended maintenance benefits of Capstone's C30, C65 and C200 offerings. It features Capstone's patented air bearing, remote monitoring and diagnostic capabilities and integrated utility synchronization and protection.
Clyde Bergemann to provide boiler cleaning systems for UK plant PHOTO: CLYDE BERGEMANN POWER GROUP
well as customer case studies. Visitors to the site will also have the opportunity to download popular software applications developed by Vermeer. Video demonstrating Vermeer products working in the field are prominent throughout the site, helping to provide customers with a better idea of how these products can fit into their operation.
per cubic foot (20 grams per liter) to a maximum granular size of 1 to one-half inch (40 millimeters).
Squeaky Clean: Clyde Bergemann’s SCS Shower Cleaning Systems will be installed in the Riverside plant in Great Britain.
Von Roll Inova, the Swiss subsidiary of A-TEC INDUSTRIES AG conglomerate, has awarded Germany-based Clyde Bergemann Power Group with the turnkey delivery of three SCS Shower Cleaning Systems to be installed in the 72-megawatt Riverside facility in Great Britain. The SCS systems will be equipped to clean second and third open pass of all three combustion lines. Each combustion line processes 31.8 metric tons of municipal and commercial waste per hour to generate enough electricity to serve roughly 66,000 households. DP CleanTech expands in Thailand After successfully completing 18 biomass power plant projects in less than four years in China, DP CleanTech has identified Thailand as the next major market in its rapid roll-out of biomass power systems in Southeast Asia. In July, DP CleanTech opened a sales office in Bangkok, marking another milestone in its expansion strategy for biomass power in Southeast Asia. Thailand’s abundant resources coupled with its accommodative renewable energy policies represent an opportunity for further biomass development and a priority market for DP CleanTech.
SHARE YOUR INDUSTRY NEWS: To be included in the Business Briefs, send information (including photos and logos, if available) to Industry Briefs, Biomass Power & Thermal, 308 Second Ave. N., Suite 304, Grand Forks, ND 58203. You may also e-mail information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include your name and telephone number in all correspondence.
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 15
BIOMASS NEWS BRIEFS
Sierra Pacific shuts down Loyalton plant Sierra Pacific Industries has shut down its Loyalton, Calif., biomass power plant because of reduced timber sale offerings making it impossible to operate, along with decreased electricity rates. Numerous government actions, including decisions not to implement laws passed by Congress, have cut off the company from feasible fuel
supplies, it said. In addition, Nevada Energy recently lowered the rates it pays to SPI for electricity generated from the Loyalton plant. The combination of the two factors made the facility uneconomic to run, according to the company. Those events, notwithstanding, SPI is exploring opportunities that might allow it to reopen the facility, it said.
MSU launches farmer network Kentucky’s Murray State University, with the help of Memphis AgBioworks, has launched its West Kentucky AgBioworks initiative to implement the results of a five-state, 98-county study by Batelle Technology Partnership Practice. The study concluded there is significant opportunity for the Mississippi Delta to join the global bioeconomy. The initiative will aim to
educate farmers on growing and testing alternative crops; to start an MSU demonstration crop; and to survey businesses in the region with a goal of determining who can use biomass and build processing plants. The program has received tens of thousands in funding already, including $50,000 from state agencies and $12,000 from participating counties, according to MSU.
Detroit Edison gets approval for power projects The Michigan Public Service Commission has approved two contracts totaling 20 megawatts (MW) of capacity, enough to power about 14,000 homes, to be sold to power utility Detroit Edison. Through the contracts, Waste Management Renewable Energy will provide 3 MW of
power from a landfill gas project, and L’Anse Warden Electric Co. will provide 17 MW from a wood waste biomass plant in Baraga County, Mich. Detroit Edison serves about 2.1 million customers in southeastern Michigan and expects to add 1,200 MW of renewable power to its capacity.
16 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
Pellet Power: Enviva LP has acquired CKS Energy, a pellet plant in Armory, Miss., and plans to more than double its production capacity.
Enviva expands through acquisition Enviva LP, a manufacturer of wood pellets and processed biomass fuel, has acquired Amory, Miss.-based wood pellet manufacturer CKS Energy. CKS provides pellets for industrial, commercial and residential customers, mainly in Europe where wood pellets are well-integrated into the energy sector. In the coming months, Enviva plans to hire additional staff for the CKS facility, which will be known as Enviva Pellets Amory. The company will also expand its production from current capacity of 50,000 tons per year to more than 100,000 tons per year, according to Enviva. Raw biomass material will be sourced locally and the facility will primarily serve Enviva’s long-term European customers. Enviva Chairman and CEO John Keppler called the acquisition a perfect fit as the company moves to increase its manufacturing footprint.
Washington DNR requests proposalsfor forest biomass study
Energy Crops: White Technologies has an exclusive license for micropropagation technologies for energy crops such as Miscanthus Giganteus.
The Washington Department of Natural Resources has released a request for proposals to assess forest biomass availability and sustainability harvest thresholds on forested land throughout the state for biofuel, heat and power generation purposes. The study is required by House Bill 2165, which was
enacted into law in 2009 and allows the DNR to implement biomass energy projects using forest biomass in eastern and western Washington through the authorization of long-term supply agreements. The deadline for the request for proposals was Sept. 13. The DNR anticipates beginning the study in early November.
White Technology, partners receive biomass project grant Indiana-based White Technology LLC has been selected along with its partners at West Virginia University to receive one of six renewable energy grants awarded by the West Virginia Division of Energy. The grant will fund a project that will demonstrate the environmental and economic benefits of reclaiming former mine land properties with sustainable and viable agricultural biomass for future renewable energy production. White Technology has an exclusive license for a Miscanthus giganteus and Arundo donax (giant reed) micropropagation technology developed by University of South Carolina plant geneticists.
Helius Energy secures site for new biomass plant Biomass energy developer Helius Energy plc announced it has signed an option to lease a 20-acre site at the Port of South Hampton, U.K., for the construction of a 100-megawatt biomass power plant. The option to lease the site from Associated British Ports is subject to the securing of a Development Consent Order, which Helius intends to submit an application for in the near future, and the company will
soon enter into consultation with the local community and relevant statutory authorities. Helius anticipates that the plant will require about 700,000 metric tons (771,000 tons) of biomass per year, a significant proportion of which will come through the Port of South Hampton.
Investment Opportunity: Akeida Capital Management provided Aspen Power LLC with the funding necessary for it to complete the construction of its Texas plant.
Aspen secures funding for plant Aspen Power LLC has acquired the necessary funding to complete construction of its 57-megawatt (MW) biomass power plant in Lufkin, Texas, which began in late 2008. Akeida Capital Management LLC provided Aspen with a $14.1 million junior loan to complete the waste wood-fired plant, the first biomass plant to be built in Texas, according to Akeida. Aspen Power’s sister company, Angelina Fuels, will provide the plant with about 1,500 tons of biomass per day from timber harvesting, sawmill and municipal cleanup activities in and around Lufkin. The facility will create 50 new jobs for locals and contribute to Texas’ renewable portfolio standard of 10,000 MW by 2020 with at least 500 MW generated from nonwind resources. Aspen Power will interconnect to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas.
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 17
PHOTO: SHOW ME ENERGY COOPERATIVE
Mover and Shaker: Show Me Energy was the first to apply and qualify for the USDA's Biomass Crop Assistance Program. Now members are waiting for the program to be reinstated and their CHST payments to resume.
Biomass industry anxious for BCAP final rule BY ANNA AUSTIN
When USDA put the Biomass Crop Assistance Program on hold in February until the final rules were established, it was anticipated that the program would be back by the end of the summer. As fall approaches, the final rules are still not out and it’s unclear when that will happen. Meanwhile, the program freeze has left those who were depending on collection, harvest, storage and transport (CHST) payments, which were being distributed before the program was halted, in sticky financial situations, and others unsure how to budget for 2011 or what crops to plant. BCAP is part of the 2008 Farm Bill and was designed to support the establishment and production of eligible crops for conversion to bioenergy in selected areas, and to assist agricultural and forest landowners and operators in supplying eligible material to biomass conversion facilities. CHST payments, the first of two different types of financial assistance BCAP will offer, provides matching payments to eligible biomass material suppliers in the amount of $1 per $1 paid per ton delivered to a qualified biomass conversion facility—a facility that will use the material to produce power, heat, biobased products, advanced 18 BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL | OCTOBER 2010
biofuels or any combination—up to $45 per dry ton for a time limit of two years after the first payment is made. According to a USDA report released in August, CHST payments dispensed to date total just less than $243 million. The USDA has estimated BCAP spending to total about $2.6 billion, including $2.1 billion for CHST matching payments over the next four years. USDA Farm Service Agency Communications Chief Kent Politsch said that the rules are moving through the approval process, but because there are so many branches of government that have to sign off on them, exactly when they will be ready for release is unpredictable. “It could happen in 10 days or a month or more,” he said. “Some agencies take longer to review it than others.” Steve Flick, board president of Centerview, Mo.-based Show Me Energy Cooperative, the first farmer-owned co-op in the U.S. to apply and qualify for BCAP CHST payments, said that the lack of payments, mainly in the past three months, has negatively impacted the co-op. “There are two things that have impacted us tremendously in Missouri,” Flick said. “The shutting off of BCAP, and also extremely wet weather—since spring, we’ve received twice the normal rainfall in western Missouri and there are switchgrass fields under water.”
Show Me is comprised of more than 600 midwestern farmerowners. Flick pointed out that while biomass crops such as switchgrass and miscanthus thrive in wet weather, farmers can’t get into the fields to bale the biomass energy crops. “We don’t mind getting rained on, but it’s just getting the time to bale, and biomass has to be dry enough to do that,” he said. The lack of BCAP rules has also impacted farmers from a crop selection standpoint, Flick said. “Farmers need to make some decisions as to what they’re going to do with some of their marginal land and sign up for the program within the next month or two. If they don’t, they lose a planting cycle. Typically, native grasses can be planted throughout the winter and spring up to July, but after that you have to wait another year. Nobody wants to move until they find out what those rules are.” From Flick’s perspective, part of Show Me’s success stems from getting things rolling before the economic crisis. “There is an underlying current of farmers in the U.S. that want to do this [grow energy crops], and the only thing holding them back is capital. We feel lucky to have launched in 2007, because in today’s capital-constrained market, I don’t think we could be doing what we are doing.” Aside from negatives associated with the BCAP freeze, Flick remains very confident in BCAP’s success; and in the competence of
Farm Service Agency Administrator Jonathan Coppess, in particular. “He is going to do a good job—he’s got the vision and aptitude to make it work,” he said. “He’s the right man to do that job, and it’s not easy.” Coppess was appointed to serve as administrator of the FSA in July 2009, having previously served as the deputy administrator for farm programs at the agency. “They know they need to roll [BCAP rules] out, and they’re doing an awful good job of trying to go through 24,000 comments, which is a tremendous undertaking,” Flick said. “I really think their contention is to make absolutely sure we don’t have any more debacles like we did last time.” The proposed BCAP rules contained several loopholes and oversights that prompted the program freeze. One example is the CHST qualification of certain materials that the pulp and particleboard/ fiberboard manufacturers utilize such as bark, sawdust and shavings, which increased the cost of materials for that industry. The final rule aims to fix that problem and others. Until then, it’s a waiting game. “We’re very anxious because we feel that this is a good program for farmers,” Flick said. “It’s our destiny as a country to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and I don’t care if it’s liquid fuel or power, BCAP is the way to get started,” Flick said.
Renewable energy groups oppose Loan Guarantee Program cuts BY LISA GIBSON
A recent dip into the U.S. DOE’s Loan Guarantee Program funding has renewable energy groups feeling neglected as it is the second time funding has been “borrowed” for other purposes, the first amount still was not repaid. President Barack Obama signed legislation that would allow a trimming of $1.5 billion for funding of emergency assistance to various states. A package containing the measure has passed in the House, but is waiting on Senate action. A letter to Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., outlining the detriments of such a measure was signed by representatives from the American Wind Energy Association, the Geothermal Energy Association, the National Hydropower Association, the Solar Energy Industries Association and the Biomass Power Association. “This reduction in funding severely limits the DOE’s abil-
ity to support the suite of renewable resources through the loan guarantee program,” the letter reads. “Further, a solicitation for manufacturers of commercial renewable energy technologies has not even been released yet by DOE. The proposed cut makes it likely that manufacturers of commercial renewable technologies will not be able to take advantage of the DOE Loan Guarantee Program.” In 2009, funding was cut from the program for the Cash for Clunkers program. A total of $2 billion was trimmed from the $6 billion allocated in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to provide loan guarantees for an estimate $60 billion worth of renewable energy projects. With the latest rescission, $3.5 billion will have been cut from the program and many projects will go unfunded, the letter states. OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 19
Study: Proposed Boiler MACT means significant job loss BY LISA GIBSON
A study commissioned by the Council of Industrial Boiler Owners found that implementation of the U.S. EPA’s proposed Boiler MACT rule as is would result in substantial job loss, as well as reduced U.S. gross domestic product. The rule would strictly limit emissions of five hazardous air pollutants (HAPs)— mercury, hydrogen chloride, particulate matter, carbon monoxide and dioxin/ furans—for industrial, commercial and institutional incinerators, boilers and process heaters, including those using biomass. Under the proposed rule, sources emitting 10 MMBtu per hour and greater will be required to comply with numerical emission limits for those pollutants. In addition, many biomass boilers formerly categorized as multifuel boilers and not subject to the limits would fall under the incinerators category and would be required to adhere to them. The new CIBO study, The Economic Impact of Proposed EPA Boiler/Process Heater MACT Rule on Industrial,
Commercial, and Institutional Boiler and Process Heater Operators, found that for every $1 billion spent on MACT upgrade and compliance costs, 16,000 jobs will be put at risk and the GDP could be reduced by as much as $1.2 billion. Much of that pain would be suffered in supplier networks, it adds. Biomass Power Association president and CEO Bob Cleaves has been warning of the monetary expense
and job loss dangers of the proposed rule since its release in June, saying it would require costly retrofits at almost 100 percent of existing biomass power plants. “The Biomass Power Association has repeat- BPA President and CEO Bob Cleaves edly emphasized that maintains that the EPA’s proposed emissions limits MACT ruling will cause in the proposed the loss of thousands Boiler MACT are impossible to of jobs across America achieve. in an already troubled economy,” Cleaves said. “The Council of Industrial Boiler Owners is buttressing our views with its report on the potential effect of the MACT rule on jobs. We ask again that the EPA review its proposed ruling on biomass boiler emissions to consider what is at stake environmentally and economically for Americans.” Cleaves has charged that the limits are unachievable and would devastate the
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'Policymakers are rightly saying that we need to preserve and create more American manufacturing jobs today. This proposed Boiler MACT rule overshoots the mark and would result in Americans being put out of work.' â€•Donna Harman, CEO, American Forest & Paper Association
biomass industry. According to the CIBO study, biomass wonâ€™t be the only industry hit. â€œThe Council of Industrial Boiler Operators believes its members may be subject to significant economic hardship should the proposed EPA rules regulating boiler emissions be adopted,â€? it reads. â€œPotential consequences include the shuttering of domestic manufacturing capacityâ€” and the associated jobs lossesâ€”for those CIBO members that find the capital costs associated with compliance via plant retrofitting make it economically unfeasible to continue operations.â€? The study was conducted by economic forecasting firm IHS Global Insight and quantifies the economic impact of
compliance to the proposed standards by all impacted sources. Upgrades alone for all the proposed standards would cost the country more than 337,000 jobs, the study forecast, and $5.7 billion in taxes. â€œThe study released today (Sept. 15) by CIBO is but further evidence that excessive regulation would result in lost jobsâ€”and those jobs wonâ€™t come back,â€? said American Forest & Paper Association president and CEO Donna Harman, adding that AF&PA commissioned its own study released in August that also showed significant job loss forecasts. â€œThe CIBO study, much like the jobs impact study AF&PA released, shows disturbing job losses that can still be avoided as the rule
is being considered by EPA.â€? The comment period on the proposed MACT rule ended Sept. 14 and the rule should be finalized by Dec. 16 of this year. â€œPolicymakers are AF&PA President rightly saying that we and CEO Donna Harman says the need to preserve and study is create more American CIBO further proof that manufacturing jobs the Boiler MACT proposed rules today,â€? Harman said. â€œThis proposed Boiler would result in job losses. MACT rule overshoots the mark and would result in Americans being put out of work. EPA has a choiceâ€”they can regulate in a way that protects both jobs and the environment, or they can regulate in a way that sacrifices jobs.â€? ON THE WEB CIBO study: www.cibo.org
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 21
CSU professor develops water-saving AD process BY LISA GIBSON
A Colorado State University professor is developing an anaerobic digester (AD) that uses less water than conventional systems, making it ideal and economically feasible for use at feedlots and dairies in the Western states. Sybil Sharvelle, assistant professor of engineering, said her process is separated into stages, beginning with water trickling over the solids and converting the organic material into liquid organic acids. The acids are then converted to methane in a separate high-rate digestion reactor. Sharvelle has experimented mainly with animal waste, but said the process is appropriate for any waste with solids content of more than 40 percent. “Aside from manure, we are also testing the reactor for conversion of the organic fraction of municipal solid waste to methane,” she said. The amount
of water saved varies depending on the quality of the feedstock, she added. “This technology is very beneficial in the arid West where water is a precious resource and also has a high dollar value,” Sharvelle said. “Agricultural producers in the West work hard to conserve water because they are often limited by water rights or have a financial benefit to do so.” The water required for conventional AD technology generally renders it economically unfeasible, she added. “The lower water requirement for the system we are developing will enable agricultural producers in arid climates to generate revenue through installation of the technology.” Sharvelle and graduate student Luke Loetscher are collaborating with Fort Collins, Colo.-based Stewart Environmental
Consultants Inc. and the university’s Agricultural Experiment Stations to evaluate the feasibility of AD at Colorado feeding operations, according to the university. The system is currently operating on a laboratory scale, but construction of a pilot plant is underway at a Colorado feedlot. The pilot will operate over the next year, followed by construction of large operations in the second year and full commercialization in three years, according to Sharvelle. Stewart Energy, a wholly owned subsidiary of Stewart Environmental Consultants Inc., is working to commercialize the process and has an exclusive option to license it from the Colorado State University Research Foundation.
EERC, Cummins partner for waste-to-energy project BY LISA GIBSON
Over the next year, researchers at the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota will test multiple types of high-moisture feedstocks during a demonstration of the partnership between its gasifier and a Cummins Power Generation Inc. generator. The design and operation of EERC’s proprietary gasification system allow for feedstocks with higher moisture content than traditional systems, according to Nikhil Patel, EERC research scientist. In the process, the moisture in the biomass is used to improve the hydrogen content of the resulting syngas, he added. Feedstocks used in the demonstration will include municipal solid waste, wet wood, turkey litter and other opportunistic biomass fuels that are underutilized, according Bruce Folkedahl, EERC senior research manager.
“High-moisture biomass is a typically found fuel,” Patel said. Cummins, based in Minneapolis, is a worldwide leader in internal combustion engines and stationary power generation, and thus is an ideal partner for this research. “The partnership is beneficial to both entities and will advance the stateof-the-art in both distributed gasification and syngas use in internal combustion engine power generation,” Folkedahl said. The Cummins generator normally runs on natural gas, but has been fitted for syngas by EERC researchers. The demonstration of the technologies together will produce between 20 and 40 kilowatts (kW) of electricity, which will be used to power a heater. “The ultimate goal of the project is to implement commercial projects,” Patel said. Scale-up of the system
will be based on the particular use of the technology and will vary from the current size up to 500 kW or larger. “Some applications may only require 50 kW while others may need more depending on the end use of the electricity and the amount of biomass available for fuel,” Folkedahl said. The EERC hopes the outcome of the project will lead to further development and the demonstration of engine performance when using syngas. It will produce data for environmental permitting and provide strategies to achieve emission levels that meet current and future environmental regulations, which will be critical for successful commercialization of combinedheat-and-power technologies.
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Dow Corning considers biomass CHP
BY LISA GIBSON
Silicone-based product manufacturer Dow Corning is considering constructing a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) plant on its Midland, Mich., site to power its existing facility as well as provide steam for its product manufacturing operations there. The company is currently in the permitting process and hopes to make a definitive decision on the CHP plant by the end of this year, according to spokesman Jarrod Erpelding. “Alternative energy is very important to us,” he said. “Currently, power and steam come from a coal-powered source.” Steam is a major component of the company’s operations, he added.
The biomass plant would be built on property owned by Dow Corning and immediately next to its existing manufacturing plant. Initially, it will run on chipped waste wood from woody biomass, but could also combine municipal solid waste, agricultural waste and other low-value feedstocks, Erpelding said. The company is in negotiations for the woody biomass feedstock, but has not begun discussions with suppliers for other sources. The plant would use a gasification process and the amount of electricity and steam it would produce has not been determined. Dow Corning has not released a cost for the facility.
This would be the first biomass endeavor for the company and depending on the amount of steam and power it produces, excess energy might be available for sale to neighboring facilities and the local grid, Erpelding said. If the plant proves successful, Dow Corning might consider expanding its biomass portfolio. Dow Corning’s silicone-based products are used in construction, solar, life sciences and personal products industries. Cirque Energy LLC would build, own and operate the Midland CHP plant for the company and is handling the environmental permitting.
Washington paper mill to install biomass boiler
BY LISA GIBSON
Nippon Paper Industries USA in Port Angeles, Wash., will replace its existing biomass/oil boiler with a more efficient biomass boiler that will supply steam for the paper mill and 20 megawatts of power for the local grid. The mill has a $71 million budget for the project and plans to apply for federal funding after completing the permitting process, according to mill manager Harold Norlund.
The old boiler will not be demolished, but might instead be used as a backup, pending permitting. The wood fuel for the boiler will continue to be residuals from local forestry operations, although more will be needed. Nippon does not own any land, but is surrounded by state Department of Natural Resources land, along with private timber operations. Norlund said
the company anticipates securing a supply within a 75-mile radius including two local sawmills. The company hopes to begin construction this fall and implement the system in mid2012. “We’re actually considering selling 100 percent of the electricity to the grid,” Norlund said. “Some public utility districts are looking for renewable energy that fits their portfolios.”
MGT signs MOU with Suzano for biomass supply BY LISA GIBSON
U.K.-based MGT Power Ltd. has begun securing a feedstock supply for its 300-megawatt Tees Renewable Energy Plant, signing a non-binding, long-term memorandum of understanding with Brazilian pulp and paper producer Suzano e Celulose S.A. The two companies are working toward developing a formal contract for the agreement, but MGT declined to release information on how long Suzano will supply pellets for the facility or the amount it will supply. The MOU is backed by an $800
Wood pellets from Brazil benefit not only from the country’s sunny conditions, but also from the advanced forestry technology developed by Brazilian universities to increase yields in poor soils.
million investment by Suzano, which will develop three projects in Northeast Brazil for the production of 3 million metric tons of eucalyptus pellets per year. The resulting electricity at Tees REP is expected to deliver more than an 88 percent carbon dioxide reduction compared with fossil fuels, according to MGT. Tees REP will be constructed in Teesside, England, and is expected to be completed and operational in 2014. Suzano will supply a significant portion of the clean wood fuel for the facility, but MGT is also looking elsewhere, including local sources. The company is limited, however, to 200,000 metric tons per year of road deliveries to avoid impacts on local roads, according to an MGT spokesman. The company will seek to diversify suppliers and geographies to ensure a reliable supply, he added. Suzano was chosen as a supplier because it is among the largest integrated
pulp and paper companies in the world, according to MGT. It will give project lenders comfort as Suzano is a well-established, publicly-traded company with sustainability credentials. Wood pellets from Brazil benefit not only from the country’s sunny conditions, but also from the advanced forestry technology developed by Brazilian universities to increase yields in poor soils, the spokesman said. MGT Power also is developing a 300 MW facility in Tyneside, England, but a supply for that facility has not been established as it is in very early stages of development, according to the company.
OCTOBER 2010 | BIOMASS POWER & THERMAL 25
Veterans Affairs medical center to install biomass CHP system
PHOTO: LOCKHEED MARTIN
BY ANNA AUSTIN
Fuel Supply: Waste wood helps power Lockheed Martin's CHP plant in Owego, N.Y.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs is planning to install a biomass combined-heat-and-power (CHP) system at the VA Medical Hospital in Canandaigua, N.Y., and has selected Lockheed Martin and Whiting Turner as winner of the $15 million contract. The fully automated system will run on locally sourced woody biomass, including wood chips and bark salvaged from local lumber yards and logging operations. Lockheed Martin spokesman Cory Smith said the boilers to be installed will use an estimated 15,000 tons of wood chips annually. Lockheed Martin will build, install and test the equipment as well as train hospital employees to maintain the biomass system. Whiting Turner will provide on-site con-
struction leadership and work with the VA to integrate the biomass system. Lockheed Martin has a biomass CHP facility in Owego, N.Y., that opened in 2008. By switching from fuel oil to wood chips, the project has reduced the plant’s heating and cooling bills by half and reduced its carbon footprint by 25 percent. The Canandaigua biomass system will be the same configuration as the system in Owego. The project is being funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Smith said this will mark the company’s second project after its Owego facility. Construction on the Canandaigua plant will begin this month and will take about three years to complete, according to Smith.
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