Gainesville, Rayonier initiate fuel supply relationship
The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center has initiated a fuel supply relationship with Rayonier, an international forest products company, to supply logging residue, precommercial thinnings and other clean, renewable wood fuel for the proposed 100-megawatt biomass plant in Gainesville, Fla.
“We look forward to working with Rayonier,” said Josh Levine, project manager for
the GREC project. “The use of biomass fuels promotes sustainable forest management practices which will help ensure local and regional forest health in the future. Biomass plants like GREC also stimulate the local economy by creating a market for harvest residues and trimmings which would have been open-burned or left in the forest,” Levine said.
Lynn Wilson, Rayonier’s vice president, U.S. forest resources, added, “Rayonier believes projects like GREC are an important part of America’s energy future and we
hope to be a strategic part of this project’s success.”
“This relationship further demonstrates the readily available and sustainable supply of forest-derived materials for the new plant,” said Richard Schroeder, president and founder of Gainesville-based BioResource Management, whose company is assisting
GREC with securing fuel contracts. “Understanding the importance of maintaining a healthy forest, GREC will comply with the Florida Division of Forestry Best Management
Practices, and has agreed to additional standards to foster improved nutrient retention and overall forest health.”
American Renewables will build, own and operate the GREC facility and will sell all electricity and environmental attributes generated from the facility to Gainesville Regional Utilities, the municipally owned utility that serves the Gainesville community, under a 30-year power purchase agreement. The biomass plant will use a variety of clean, renewable biomass materials, including forestry residues and other wood processing residue, urban wood residue, and other wood waste.
American Renewables also recently announced a supply relationship with a leading provider of urban wood waste which will provide the facility with nearly half its fuel needs. By producing energy from local sources, GREC will create local jobs, keep energy dollars in the area’s economy, and reduce reliance on imported coal.
The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center has received all necessary construction permits and governmental approvals and intends to begin construction in the next month.
The facility will be operational by December 2013.