Areva announces biopower project

By Anna Austin | April 04, 2012

Areva’s Bioenergy Business Unit has embarked on a project to develop modular and compact biomass power plants, and has received funding from KIC InnoEnergy. 

KIC InnoEnergy is part of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, which serves to foster research and development activities in the field of sustainable energy.

Overall, the project aims to utilize small-scale biomass resources and address relatively untapped growth opportunities in Europe, South Asia and Latin America, according to Areva. The company’s main objective in the project is to optimize the plant cost for customers and reduce construction time, while improving upstream technologies for multi-fuel acceptance and higher availability.

The funds from INC InnoEnergy will be used this year to develop the plant concept, according to Caroline Sagne of Areva media relations. She said the next step will be to construct a first-of-its-kind pilot project that should be operating in 2013.

The multi-fuel plants will range from 1 to 5 MW and Areva intends to have them on the bioenergy plant market within two to three years, Sagne added.  

Areva has several partners signed on to work on the project, including SITA, a leading industrial operator specialist in waste treatment and recovery, government-funded technical research organization French CEA, and the German Karlsruhe Institute of Technology.