Southeast is a Hotbed of Biomass Activity

If you haven’t done so already, you will want to register for the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show. Topics of discussion include wood pellets, supply and demand, converting and cofiring coal-fired plants with biomass, biofuels and more.
By Rona Johnson | October 27, 2011

If you haven’t done so already, you will want to register for the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show. The event will bring information and solution seekers together with biomass buyers, sellers, developers, producers, processors, transporters, researchers and anyone with a stake in the industry.

The event, which will be held Nov. 1-3 in Atlanta, will kick off with a presentation by Jill Stuckey, director for the Center of Innovation for Energy (COI-Energy), Georgia Environmental Finance Authority. The center was established by Gov. Sonny Perdue in 2008 and its mission is to expand the use of renewable energy and alternative fuels in Georgia.

The center provides clients with access to research at universities and connects them with funding opportunities through incentives, matching grants, low-interest loans and access to potential investors through angel investor networks and venture capitalists groups.  

Clearly Georgia is doing something right because renewable energy projects there are on the rise.

The first project that comes to mind is the 750,000-ton-per-year pellet plant in Waycross, Ga. The $150 million project is the result of a collaboration between German-based RWE Innogy and Sweden-based BioMass Capital Management. The pellets produced there are being shipped to RWE’s biomass power facilities in Europe.

Georgia will also be home to a new $170 million biomass power plant in LaGrange. The plant, which will produce 50 megawatts of power, is being built by North Carolina-based Rollcast Energy Inc.

Most recently, Green Energy Farms Alliance, which is made up of miscanthus developer New Energy Farms and renewable energy project developer Global Green Engineered Fuels LLC, is building a wood fuel manufacturing and distribution plant near Atlanta and a wood and miscanthus biomass pellet plant in southwest Georgia. The plan is to ship industrial-grade pellets to biomass power plants in Europe (for more information, go to

For anyone interested in pellet production, the Southeast Biomass Conference & Trade Show will feature a general session titled “Producer’s Perspectives: A Manufacturer’s Roundtable on the Southeast’s Growing Pellet Industry” that will be moderated by Seth Ginther, executive director of the U.S. Industrial Pellet Association, who will be joined by John Bradley, vice president of business development for Folghum Fibres Inc.; Sam Kang, managing director of Georgia Biomass; Michael Williams, director, strategy and planning for The Westervelt Co.; and Peter Najera, vice president of operations for Enviva.

Conference panel discussions will also address biomass supply and demand, converting and cofiring coal-fired plants with biomass, cellulosic and drop-in biofuels and many other topics.

If you are developing or planning a biomass project, you won’t want to miss the general session titled “Southeastern Biomass Power Producer’s Roundtable.” This is the final general session on Nov. 3 and consists of biomass power project developers. The session will be moderated by Tim Portz, BBI International’s program director, and will feature Joshua Levine, director of project development for American Renewables LLC, which is building one of the largest biomass power plants in the U.S., a 100-megawatt facility in Gainesville, Fla.; Marvin Burchfield, vice president of Decker Energy, which is building a 42-megawatt power plant in Plainfield, Conn.; and Raine Cotton, CEO of Southeast Renewable Energy, which is developing three 15-megawatt biomass power plants in South Carolina. American Renewables is also developing a project in White Springs, Fla., and Decker Energy has one in Fitzgerald, Ga.

For more information about the conference, visit the website at

See you in Atlanta.