California coal plant PPA allows biomass conversion

The California Public Utilities Commission has approved a 15-year power purchase agreement (PPA) between Pacific Gas and Electric Co. and Mt. Poso Cogeneration plant LLC near Bakersfield, Calif.

The contract will allow the Mt. Poso plant, which is managed by Kern County-based Millennium Energy LLC, to be converted to a 44-megawatt biomass power plant that will be fueled with urban and agricultural wood waste. Mt. Poso has been operating as a coal-fired base load cogeneration facility since 1989. The conversion is scheduled to be completed by 2012.