Sunday, February 17, 2008

Electricity from waste

As with many projects, this one is running over budget - about 20% over budget. It is an interesting project in that it turns mostly waste products into energy.

A biomass power plant scheduled to fire up this spring in Snowflake is on schedule but will cost $12.5 million more than planned, Tempe-based Renegy Holdings Inc. officials said.

The plant will provide 24 megawatts of electricity to split between Arizona Public Service Co. and Salt River Project customers. It's enough power for 6,000 or more homes in the state and now is expected to cost $58.5 million by the time it opens in May.

The plant will burn recycled newspaper sludge and wood chips from forest-thinning to generate steam and power.

Like many of these types of projects, it used a lot of public financing to get going. Almost $40 million in this case.

The amount of power it will produce isn't very large in the overall scheme of things. However it will help APS meet the Corporation Comission's requirement of 1% of power coming from non-hydro renewable sources.

So we're going to get electricity from a combination of wood chips, waste paper, public financing and tax breaks (Federal Production Tax Credits.)

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