Florida Commission Approves Innovative Biomass Power Plant
The Florida Public Service Commission (PSC) on August 15 voted to approve a petition for Progress Energy Florida to buy energy produced by the Florida Biomass Energy Group, LLC. Progress Energy is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, and provides electricity to three million customers in Florida and the Carolinas.
Florida Biomass plans to build and operate an electricity generating plant on a 15,000-acre farm near Lake Okeechobee in central Florida. The plant will produce power from a tall, bamboo-like grass called E-Grass. The E-Grass will be grown and harvested in a continuous cycle and converted into a liquid fuel that will be used in a traditional combined cycle gas turbine. The plant will also use unique harvesting and material-handling systems to process the plant material. The plant is slated to begin operation no later than December 2009.
The plant is expected to generate 116 megawatts of power, which makes it the renewable power plant with the largest rated capacity in Florida. Projections indicate the electricity would be slightly less expensive than that from other sources. The plant will also contribute to the diversity of the fuel mix for electricity generation in Florida.
For more information, read the PSC August 15 news release.