A Huge Opportunity for the Biomass Power Industry

By Luke Geiver | August 30, 2012

A conference earlier this month in Alabama may have just revealed the next best partner for the biomass power industry. By best, I mean a partner who will enter into power purchase agreements on a long-term sometimes unlimited basis. The term best, in this case, is also used because of the amount of money this partner is willing to spend, $7 billion.

In Huntsville, the U.S. Army and Corps of Engineers held an informative meeting that described the submittal and contracting process the Department of Defense (the next best partner) will use to bring $7 billion worth of renewable power online by 2025 at existing DOD installations.

The DOD wants the energy over a period of 30 years, or in some cases less, from wind, solar, geothermal and biomass. While all $7 billion will not come from biomass-based power, what if even one-fourth did?

That the DOD gives the power industry the PPA partner it certainly needs should not be overlooked, but a statement by Col. Robert Ruch, Huntsville Center commander, shows why the DOD is such a valuable asset for the growth and current sustainability of the industry. “This is a huge opportunity,” he said. Not for the biomass industry, but, “for the Army,” he said to a crowd of over 600 industry stakeholders. “We’re glad you want to be a part of it.”

During the conference a series of presentations outlined the way the project submittal process will work and how the project submission evaluation process will work. For a full list of the presentations that range from contractual considerations to joint ventures and teaming, click here.