Port St. Joe biomass developer gives up

Another biomass plant bites the dust, this time less than 200 miles southwest of here in Port St. Joe, Florida.

Tim Croft wrote for the Star Thursday, Developer pulls out of energy center project

Citing an inability to secure financing Rentech, Inc., the developer of the Northwest Florida Renewable Energy Center has pulled out of the project.
What project? Down at the fourth paragraph the article finally says:
…a 55 megawatt energy plant to be built in Port St. Joe.

The plant, as proposed, would produce steam to drive generators to produce electricity, the fuel source woody biomass, or forest residue. Progress Energy had an agreement in place to purchase electricity from the plant.

The article blames the economy, but that wasn’t all that did in a dozen other biomass plants around the country in the past few years, including, of course, the one proposed for Lowndes County. It’s just not an economical way of producing power.

And maybe this had something to do with it:

Protests against the project continued from a citizens group alleging the plant would not provide clean energy.
Not that it converted the local old boys:
However, local elected and economic development officials championed the project and at one point it was seen as a magnet for other renewable energy research and production companies to relocate to the area.
Well, maybe the polarity of that magnet just turned to repulse.


PS: Owed to Michael Noll.