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Southern Power Sinking $500M Into Biomass Facility

woodAustin, Texas, will be closer to meeting its goal of 30 percent renewable energy once a biomass facility from Southern Power comes into play.

Southern Power, a subsidiary of the Southern Company, recently acquired a not-yet-constructed biomass facility from American Renewables LLC. The facility is being built in Sacul, Texas.

Southern Power plans to spend $475 million to $500 million in finishing the facility, which will supply about 100 megawatts of power, according to a press release. The plant should be completed sometime in 2012.

Most of the 1 million tons of fuel to be burned at the facility will come from within 75 miles of the plant, Southern Power says, helping Austin meet its local, renewable energy goals. Southern Power has a 20-year contract with Austin. The facility will burn forest residue from surrounding areas, wood processing residues and clean municipal wood waste.

While Austin has lofty plans for incorporating renewable energy, some customers have balked at the higher rates and long contract periods, prompting low sales of Austin Energy’s renewable energy offerings.

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