Collecting Biomass Power Data for You

By Anna Simet | September 07, 2012

If we call you during the next week and ask you if your biomass power plant is running, don’t worry, we won’t tell you to go catch it.

Instead, we’ll ask you what you’re using as fuel, how much power you’re producing, when the plant went into service, whether or not it’s a combined-heat-and-power system, whether or not the plant is cofiring with coal…and a few other questions. With this data, as you may already know, we will update our U.S. Biomass Power Map, a product that we put together every year for the industry, free of charge.

I should note that these are stand-alone, solid-fuel biomass power plants over 1 MW that supply all or a portion of their power to the grid.

Here are some examples of data that resulted from our hundreds of phone calls last year, which were made during the fall:

-15 plants were under construction

-39 proposed biomass plants and proposed conversions

 -161 operational, under construction and idled plants

-California has the most biomass power facilities followed by Florida, New York, New Hampshire, Maine, Michigan, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Minnesota and Oregon.

Every time we finish the map, it’s interesting to see the numbers change—plants that were under construction move to operational, plants that were proposed move to construction, and of course, some plant plans inevitably fall through. Last fall it was particularly interesting see a mini construction boom at the end of the year, which I assume was provoked by construction deadline requirements of the expiring 1603 Program.

Something I’d like to point out before I sign off is that we confirm all plants that are on the map with personnel from that company. So if you know we have missed you in the past and you don’t get a phone call from us within the next few days, contact us so we don’t miss you this time around.