Oneida biomass plant gets final approval

By Lisa Gibson | November 29, 2011

The proposed Oneida Seven Generations Corp. biomass power plant in Green Bay, Wis., has received final approval from the U.S. DOE, leaving a just a few hoops to jump through before construction can begin.

The DOE issued its findings of no significant impact for the 5-megawatt municipal-solid-waste-to-energy plant and Oneida simply needs to hold two public meetings before construction can begin. While the permits have all already been issued, the procedure requires the developer to hold an informational public meeting, followed by another meeting that will address citizens’ concerns, according to Kevin Cornelius, CEO of Oneida Seven Generations, a subsidiary of the Oneida Tribe of Indians.

“I have the permit in hand,” he said, adding that he had hoped construction would be underway now. “Because of this requirement, I should finish the last public meeting right around the end of January and I can start any time after that.” The steel building will take about four months to put up, he said, and the gasification system and other equipment should take between six and eight months to install. “After that, we’ll be at full capacity.”

The Oneida Seven Generations Renewable Energy Facility will be located in an industrial area of Green Bay’s west side and will consume 150 tons of municipal solid waste per day, supplied through contracts with private haulers as well as municipalities. The waste will be sorted and nonhazardous, nonrecyclables will be gasified with the resulting power sold to Wisconsin Public Service, according to Oneida.