June 13, 2007

Green Waste Gasified to Electricity in CA

Almost one year ago, I posted an entry on the diversion of green waste clippings from landfills to be used as biostock for a California utility electrical plant. The Bull Moose announcement was one of many planned by San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) not only for biomass, but also solar and wind projects.

Yesterday another similar biomass diversion contract was announced involving a different supplier to SDG&E. Envirepel Energy, Inc. received the go-ahead on June 14th to build the 90MW Fallbrook Facility. It is the first of four separately sited facilities Enviropel is designing to supply 240MW of electricity to SDGE.

A big question concerns the amount of emissions that will be generated by the facility. Here is what Envirepel has to say about that:
Total air emissions as viewed from the stack exiting into the surrounding air are expected to be in the range as follows:

Particulates Less than 5 tons per year
Carbon Monoxide (CO) Less than 10 tons per year
Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Less than 15 tons per year
Sulfur Oxides (SOx) Less than 5 tons per year
Hydrocarbons (THC) Less than 5 tons per year
Total Emissions @ 45 MW generation is approximately 40 tons per year

That's not enough to require an air emissions offset credit permit (those permits that are so costly for big natural gas fired power plants to get)...think about that, a renewable, organic power plant that doesn't pollute? That is our design goal, setting a new standard for how you should do it, not the cheapest way or the easiest, or the business as usual: way it's been done throughout the industry, but the right way to do it for today's needs.

Here is the full text of the SDG&E press release.

DG&E to expand use of biomass energy
Utility seeks to acquire more renewable energy with latest solicitation

SAN DIEGO, June 12, 2007 – San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) today announced it has signed a supply contract with Envirepel Energy, Inc. for renewable, biomass energy that will be online by October 2007. SDG&E also reported that it has received nearly 5,000 megawatts (MW) of renewable-energy-supply proposals in response to the utility’s most recent renewable Request for Offers (RFO) solicitation that ended May 30, 2007.

Every year since 2002, SDG&E has solicited supply bids for renewable power to meet California’s mandate of having 20 percent of its energy portfolio come from clean resources such as wind, solar, biomass and geothermal by 2010. Envirepel’s agreement is the result of an earlier competitive solicitation. Biomass power results from burning plant-based materials such as wood.

“We are excited about the new renewable energy contract with Envirepel and with the overwhelming response we received for supplying green energy to our grid,” said Debra L. Reed, president and chief executive officer for SDG&E. “Developers are signaling their willingness to build these renewable projects. We are committed to providing the transmission pathway necessary to ensure renewable energy from any of the projects developed reaches San Diego.”

The nearly 5,000 megawatts proposed in the most recent RFO represents a mixture of renewable energy, including about 2000 MW of wind, 2,700 MW of solar, and 300 MW of geothermal, biomass and landfill gas. Several of the proposals submitted would require the addition of new transmission infrastructure to deliver energy to San Diego customers.

Today, SDG&E is more than half-way toward meeting its 2010 goal with approximately 12 percent of its future energy supply under contract to be delivered from renewable sources.

SDG&E’s contract with Envirepel will now be submitted to the CPUC for review and final approval. SDG&E’s final selection of the renewable-energy bids will be based on least-cost, best-fit procurement criteria and will be reviewed by the Procurement Review Group, comprised of California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) staff, consumer advocates and other non-market participants, and an independent evaluator prior to being submitted to the CPUC for final approval.

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