Convergen Energy purchases Michigan biomass plant

By Anna Simet | November 15, 2016

Traxys Power Group’s 20-MW biomass cogeneration plant in L’Anse, Michigan, has been purchased by Convergen Energy, formerly known as Greenwood Fuels.

The L’Anse Warden Electric Co. plant has been for sale since early 2014. Located on Lake Superior on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, it currently sends power to the grid via a power purchase agreement with Detroit Edison. It also supplies steam to building material manufacturer CertainTeed, which provides the plant with mineral fiber ceiling tile scraps to use as fuel. The plant uses several other fuel streams, including waste wood chips and railroad ties.

Formerly a coal-burning plant known as J.H. Generation Station, it initially opened in 1959. The facility was a Recovery Act Section 1603 grant recipient, and used the funds to convert to biomass. It recommenced operations in August 2009.

Convergen Energy, producer of renewable alternative fuels including paper waste pellets, is targeting industrial and municipal boilers to use the fuel as a substitute for coal and other fossil fuels.  In statements regarding the acquisition, the company indicated the purchase is part of Convergen Energy’s strategic growth plan to enter the renewable power market.  “Convergen is pleased to have completed this purchase,” said Ted Hansen, Convergen Energy CEO. “LWEC has a proven history of producing renewable power and provides a valuable source of power generation in the U.P.  We look forward to being a part of the community and providing reliable power generation in the U.P. for years to come.”

 According to Convergen Energy, the plant’s staff of 18 will continue to operate the facility in their current positions.

A call to seek comment on whether Convergen Energy plans to use its own renewable fuels to power the facility was not immediately returned.