EIA: Biomass power generation increased in 2012

By Erin Voegele | February 27, 2013

The U.S. Energy Information Administration has issued the February issue of its Electric Power Monthly report. The publication features biomass power production data through the end of 2012.

According to the report, the U.S. generated 3.35 terawatt hours (TWh) of power from woody biomass in Dec. 2012, a 0.1 percent drop compared to the 3.353 TWh reported during the same period of 2011. Power production from other types of biomass increased, however. Biomass other than that from wood was used to generate 1.762 TWh of power during Dec. 2012, a 1.8 percent increase compared to the 1.731 TWh generated in Dec. 2011.

Throughout all 12 months of 2012, the U.S. produced 37.54 TWh of power from woody biomass, a 0.2 percent increase compared to the 37.449 TWh generated in 2011. Other forms of biomass were used to generate 20.025 TWh of electricity in 2012, a 4.2 percent increase over the 19.222 TWh of power produced in 2011.

According to the report, net electricity generation from woody biomass decreased 0.1 percent in Dec. 2012 to 3.35 terawatt hours (TWh), compared to the level of production posted in Dec. 2011. However, power production from other sources of biomass increased by 1.8 percent over the same timeframe.

In the report, the EIA notes that three new wood or wood waste fueled power plants came online in 2012, including the 16 MW electric combined-heat-and-power (CHP) Savannah River Site Biomass Cogeneration facility in South Carolina owned by Ameresco, the 100 MW Nacogdoches Power facility in Texas owned by Southern Power Co., and the 6.8 MW electric CHP Kiara Anderson Plant in California owned by Kiara Solar Inc.

Under the category of “other biomass gas” fueled facilities, the EIA notes several facilities that came online in 2012, including the electric CHP Double A Digester plant in Idaho owned by AgPower Jerome LLC, which brought 1.5 MW of capacity online in January and 1.5 MW of capacity online in February. Additional plants brought online last year include the 2.8 MW electric CHP RPI Fuel Cell LLC plant in California, and the 1.4 MW UTS SJ1 LLC plant in California.

The EIA also lists approximately 45 landfill gas units that came online in either 2012 or January 213. Two of the facilities are owned by Concord Energy LLC, two by Illinois Electrical Generation Partners, one by the city of Marginsville, Va., one by Gunderson Lutheran Biogas 1 LLC, two by Kootenai Electric Cooperative Inc., 22 by WM Renewable Energy LLC, one by Innovative Energy Systems Inc., one by Southern Minnesota Mun P Agny, eight by PPL Renewable Energy LLC, and five by Brea Power II.