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Xcel Energy Plans Midwest Biomass Plant

xcel_energyXcel Energy plans to install biomass gasification technology at its Bay Front Power Plant in Ashland, Wis.

Following all state regulatory approvals, engineering and design work is expected to begin in 2010, and the unit could be operational by late 2012. The company first announced its plans last October. Meanwhile, it has filed an application for a Certificate of Authority with the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin.

When completed, the project will convert the plant’s remaining coal-fired unit to biomass gasification technology, allowing it to use 100 percent biomass in all three boilers. The company says it will use waste wood as its primary source of biomass and expects the plant to be the largest biomass plant in the Midwest.

The $58 million project is expected to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxides and particulate matters by 60 percent, 80 percent and 80 percent respectively. The total generation output of the plant is not expected to change significantly as a result of the project.

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