Biopower From Wood Waste

mountains of wood waste
Wood waste like this will power Adage’s new biomass power plants.
(cc) Robert Carr

Adage LLC, a joint venture owned by affiliates of Areva SA and Duke Energy Company, have chosen Hamilton County, Florida, about 80 miles west of Jacksonville, as the proposed site of its first U.S. biopower plant. Adage plans to develop a series of 50 megawatt biopower plants in the United States that will use clean wood waste as fuel to produce electricity.

“We are pleased to partner with Hamilton County as it considers becoming the first community to host an Adage renewable energy facility. We are committed to working with the people of Hamilton County to develop a project that benefits the whole community. The state-of-the-art Adage biopower facility provides a reliable source of electric energy generation for states looking to rapidly increase energy production using renewable fuels,” said Reed Wills, President of Adage.

The Hamilton County biopower facility will create approximately 400 jobs during construction and 125 facility and fuel-related jobs during operation, adding significantly to local economic activity.

“We are extremely excited that Adage has selected Hamilton County for their first biomass energy plant. It will have a huge economic impact on our local economy and will supply much needed employment opportunities at the generating facility and in the timber industry as well. This is a clean and renewable source of electricity and the Board of County Commissioners and the Economic Development Authority are supportive and stand ready to assist Adage in making this project become a reality,” said Danny Johnson, Hamilton County Coordinator.

Adage has achieved several key project milestones, including securing rights to a 215-acre site in Hamilton County and submitting applications for state environmental permits. Adage has entered into confidentiality agreements and non-binding letters of intent, and is in exclusive negotiations with, JEA, an electric utility serving the Jacksonville area, for the potential purchase of the power from the facility, and The Langdale Company for the supply of waste wood to the project.

“Renewable energy is the next frontier for the working forest, which has been creating jobs and cleaning our air and water for generations,” said Wesley Langdale, President of The Langdale Company. “Working with partners such as Areva and Duke Energy gives our 115-year-old company confidence in the viability and sustainability of the project.” Langdale and Adage made this announcement during the Forest Landowners Association annual conference in Amelia Island.

Several important steps remain before construction work could commence on the project, including obtaining final permit approvals, entering into binding power purchase and fuel supply agreements, receipt of certain state and local incentives related to the proposed investment and job creation, and consummation of final financing arrangements for the project. Once completed, the Adage facility will provide clean, reliable electricity for approximately 40,000 households. Biopower has many advantages over traditional power sources because it is carbon neutral, and it can be a major factor in helping power companies meet their renewable portfolio standard obligations or goals.

“This is an important first step for Adage as it moves forward with its plan to develop a series of biopower facilities using state-of-the-art technology throughout the United States. These plants can help Americans meet their electricity demand with a local, dependable and renewable energy source,” said Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.

In addition to energy and economic benefits, the development of these facilities by Adage and its partners will meet important sustainability goals.

“The first Adage plant when completed will represent significant progress towards the fulfillment of the environmental commitments Duke Energy and Areva made at the formation of this partnership at the Clinton Global Initiative last year. We remain dedicated to the promise of all carbon-free sources to produce clean air energy and protect the planet,” said Anne Lauvergeon, CEO of Areva.

As the leading U.S. nuclear vendor and a key player in the electricity transmission and distribution sector, Areva Inc.’s 5,300 U.S. energy employees are committed to serving the nation and paving the way for the future of the electricity market. With 45 locations across the nation and nearly $2 billion in energy revenues in 2007, Areva Inc., through its subsidiaries, combines U.S. leadership, access to worldwide expertise and a proven track record of performance. In the U.S. and in more than 100 countries around the world, Areva is engaged in the 21st century’s greatest challenges: making energy available to all, protecting the planet, and acting responsibly toward future generations. Areva Inc. is headquartered in Bethesda, Maryland.

Duke Energy, one of the largest electric power companies in the United States, supplies and delivers electricity to approximately 4 million U.S. customers in its regulated jurisdictions. The company has approximately 35,000 megawatts of electric generating capacity in the Midwest and the Carolinas, and natural gas distribution services in Ohio and Kentucky. In addition, Duke Energy has more than 4,000 megawatts of electric generation in Latin America, and is a joint-venture partner in a U.S. real estate company. Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK.

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