Morgan Stanley finances biomass power project

By Bryan Sims
According to San Diego, Calif.-based Bull Moose Energy LLC, Morgan Stanley, a leading global financial services firm, has agreed to invest up to $60 million in the development of biomass power production plants that would generate power from renewable energy sources near urban centers.

According to Bull Moose Energy CEO Amanda Martinez, the first of five projects to be financed under the Morgan Stanley investment will be sited on 20 acres within an enterprise zone in San Diego. Each day, the power plant will use clean biomass technology to convert several hundred tons of tree trimmings and other wood-based biomass sources, which would otherwise go to county landfills, into energy. The recycled waste will be converted to electricity for over 20,000 homes. The site will include energy production facilities, fuel preparation and feed components, and receiving and distribution facilities.

"With the recent improvements in technology, biomass has become one of the cleanest, most low-impact ways to generate electricity," Martinez said. "I see biomass as a very good sustainable source of ‘baseload' power, and I think that's important for the economy and for economic stability."

San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, has already contracted with Bull Moose Energy to purchase 20 megawatts of biomass-based electricity annually, which will help to meet SDG&E's goal of supplying 20 percent of its customers' energy needs with renewable resources by 2010. Currently in the design phase, Bull Moose Energy anticipates breaking ground on its new power plant in the fall and delivering power in 2008.

"We are looking forward to using the best and latest technology to create even greater efficiencies and benefits for the San Diego community and beyond," Martinez said.1244