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Biomass Power Rises: Texas Approves Biomass Plant Deal

power_plant2.jpgThe Austin City Council has approved a $2.3 billion, 20-year power purchase agreement between Austin Energy and Nacogdoche Power LLC, New York Times reports.

When completed in 2012, the plant will generate 100 megawatts of electricity, enough to power 75,000 homes, which Austin Energy would purchase at an estimated cost of $115 million annually. This will help the utility reach its goal of generating 30 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2020.

Last week, Georgia Power sought approval to convert a coal plant into a 96-megawatt biomass plant. According to Mike Whiting, CEO of Decker Energy International, which owns four biomass plants around the country, an estimated 15 to 20 new biomass plants are proposed in the Southeast, but not all will be built. Three biomass plants have also been proposed in Connecticut, and another three in Massachusetts.

Companies, too, including Neenah Paper, Diageo, Celestial Seasoning, and SMART Papers are looking into biomass as a fuel source.

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