First Energy gets OK for biomass conversion

By Staff | October 26, 2010

The Ohio Public Utilities Commission has approved renewable energy certification of First Energy’s proposal to convert two 156-megawatt (MW) coal-burning power units at its R.E. Burger plant in Shadyside, Ohio, to run on biomass.

First Energy plans to use about 1 million tons of woody and agricultural biomass, including pellets, briquettes and/or bales with coal, while relying on fuel oil for start-up and flame stabilization. Historically, the power plant has been burning about 800,000 tons of coal each year.

Once the $200 million retrofit is complete, the facility is expected to be one of the largest biomass power projects in the U.S. The OPUC ruling comes from an application originally filed in December 2009.