Tag Archives: megawatt

30 Megawatt solar plant opens near Austin

While Georgia Power continues to block solar deployment in Georgia, Austin Energy forges ahead in Texas with a utility-scale solar plant.

Here’s their PR, Austin Energy Activates 30 MW Solar Farm,

AUSTIN, Texas , Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — Austin Energy along with Austin City Mayor Lee Leffingwell , and Village of Webberville Mayor Hector Gonzales today announced the activation of a 30 megawatt (MW) solar power plant located within the Village of Webberville, Texas . The activation of the power plant marks the first utility-scale solar deployment for Austin Energy and helps bring the utility one step closer to achieving a 35% renewable energy mix by 2020. It is the largest active solar project of any public power utility in the country, the largest active project in Texas and among the largest of all operating solar projects in America. The project was activated on December 20, 2011

The key was a PPA:

The utility-scale solar project was made possible through a 25-year solar power purchase agreement in which Austin Energy will purchase the energy at a fixed rate along with the renewable energy credits.
In Georgia, PPAs can be made with municipal governments, universities, companies, or even individuals, if SB 401 passes.

An opportunity for EMCs: Continue reading

Nix on biomass plant in Traverse City, Michigan

Looking farther afield in Cadillac, Michigan than schools and realtors, there are some people who aren’t completely pleased with the local biomass plant:
Complaints are more frequent along Mary Street, a short stretch a few hundred yards south of the plant. Residents there deal with more intense noise and odors.

Craig Walworth’s home is among the closest to the plant. He walked up to his Jeep — a vehicle he cleaned the day before — and dragged his finger through a layer of film on the hood.

“Every morning, you have that to look forward to,” he said. “I clean my screens three times a year during the summer because they clog up.”

Nonetheless he didn’t say it affected his property values. However, that’s not the only issue.

Meanwhile, about an hour north on the edge of Lake Michigan, in Traverse City local activism caused cancellation of a proposed biomass plant: Continue reading

Biomass: Twice the CO2 of Coal?

Dr. Thomas D. Bussing, Ph.D., former mayor of Gainesville, Florida, is among the numerous signatories of a Letter to the U.S. Senate from Environmental Groups (including SAFE) Regarding Biomass, which says in part:
When compared to coal, per megawatt, this burning [biomass and the like] emits 1.5 times the carbon dioxide (CO2), 1.5 times the carbon monoxide (CO, a toxic air pollutant), and as much particulate matter.
Georgia already has the country’s dirtiest coal plant, at Juliette, near Macon. Do we need still more CO2?

Maybe the Wiregrass biomass plant planned for Valdosta is somehow more efficient than the one near Gainesville. If so, it would be good to hear about that; I don’t recall the topic coming up at the Lowndes County Commission meeting in which this plant was approved.

Dr. Bussing elaborated in a recent letter:

The fallacy is in believing that plants take up all CO2 emissions. In fact plants absorb some, the ocean absorbs more (and as a consequence is becoming more acidic by the year), but a portion just stays and builds up in the atmosphere. That buildup is associated with global warming, and it doesn’t matter if the CO2 comes from coal, gas or biomass.
Thanks to Seth R. Gunning for bringing this up.