Southern Co.'s 100-MW biomass plant receives first fuel load

By Anna Austin | November 03, 2011

Southern Co.’s biomass power facility in eastern Texas has received its first load of fuel and will soon begin tests, the company announced.

 The first load of fuel was delivered on Nov. 1 from Woodville, Texas-based Prime Acres Management Inc., which won the right to deliver the first fuel load after being the highest bidder in an online supplier charity auction.

 Located in the town of Sacul, the construction-ready power project site was purchased by Southern Company from previous developer American Renewables in 2009. When it reaches full operations in mid-2012, the 100-megawatt biomass power plant will be one of the largest in the U.S.

 The Nacogdoches Generating Facility consists of a bubbling fluidized bed boiler, a condensing steam turbine generator with an evaporative cooling tower, wood fuel handling system and auxiliary support equipment. It will require about 1.1 million tons of wood waste per year at peak operations, most of which will be procured from within a 75-mile radius of the plant.

 All of the power produced is being sold through a 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy, the nation’s ninth-largest community-owned electric utility.

 About 35-full time workers will be employed when the plant is fully operational.