BOSTON, Aug. 4 /PRNewswire/ -- A biomass energy approach that stresses multiple, smaller generation plants scaled to make use of local fuel supplies on a sustainable basis would make biomass projects more appealing to communities and more beneficial to local economies over the long haul, said Bill Gabler, Project Director of Clean Power Development, LLC, in remarks prepared for delivery today to an industry conference here.
"Communities want the jobs, and they want the power from biomass generation," noted Gabler. "But residents are justifiably worried about the impact on their quality of life. They see a potential threat to air quality, the water and local forests. And they worry about the noise and heavy truck traffic associated with large generation plants."
The answer, said Gabler, is an approach that Clean Power terms "distributed generation" – a network of smaller plants appropriately scaled to minimize environmental impact and to operate mostly on fuel available locally and harvested on a sustainable basis. Projects should whenever possible seek to maximize their efficiency by looking for opportunities to provide heat, steam or hot water for use in commercial activities, such as mills or greenhouses.
The "distributed generation" model creates more jobs per megawatt of capacity than a single large plant because there are multiple facilities spread among a region and a focus on local fuel sources, Gabler said. Moreover, smaller plants can more easily be designed to harmonize with a community's architectural character and surroundings.
"By integrating smaller biomass projects into the community -- instead of just plopping down a huge plant --we create a sustainable system, provide jobs, and safeguard the environment, while, most importantly, not disturbing the character and quality of life of the community," said Gabler. "This is the approach that will help realize the significant potential of biomass as an alternative energy source."
As an example of Clean Power's approach, Gabler cited the firm's planned 29-megawatt Combined Heat and Power (CHP) biomass facility in Berlin, NH, which is fully permitted to begin construction. The plant, which will directly employ 23 people and hundreds more in construction and associated commercial activities, will be located on a green field site away from the town's center. The plant will use 340,000 tons of biomass fuel annually on a long-term sustainable basis within a 30-mile transport radius. The exterior of the plant is designed to resemble a farm with a large red barn and two silos, fitting into the northern New Hampshire landscape.
In line with Clean Power's model of selling both thermal and electrical energy to nearby or co-located industries, the planned Berlin facility is only three quarters of a mile from the local Fraser/Gorham paper mill, a ready customer for the biomass plant's steam. Moreover, the Berlin plan offers a cost-effective thermal source for a city-wide District Heating System in Berlin.
"This allows the Berlin project to serve as the catalyst for additional development," noted Gabler, who addressed a session of the Northeast BIOMASS Conference & Expo, sponsored by BiomassMagazine.
Clean Power Development is a renewable energy development company based in Concord, NH. On July 19, it announced a cooperation agreement with Gestamp Biomass, a division of Gestamp Renewables, a global leader in wind, solar and biomass energy and a subsidiary of Gestamp Corporation, to develop biomass projects in the six New England states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut, plus New York and Pennsylvania.
About Clean Power Development
Clean Power Development, LLC focuses on the development of renewable and sustainable wood-fueled biomass-energy facilities. Based in Concord, NH, it is dedicated to the principles of social and environmental responsibility, and seeks to establish projects that, by design, help solve the energy and climate challenges that confront our era. Learn more by visiting www.cleanpowerdevelopment.us .
About Gestamp Biomass
Gestamp Biomass, a subsidiary of Gestamp Corporation, promotes, builds and operates its own plants worldwide and supplies fuel for biomass plants. Its parent company, Gestamp Corporation, headquartered in Spain, is also a leader in steel production and automotive components, with revenue of more than $6 billion in 2009 and over 20,000 employees working in 80 plants across 25 countries, including five factories in the United States. The parent company's Gestamp Renewables division integrates three lines of activity in renewable energies: Gestamp Solar, Gestamp Wind and Gestamp Biomass with activities in more than 10 countries and a fast-growing portfolio of green energy plants all across the United States. Learn more by visiting http://www.gestampbiotermica.com/.
|SOURCE Clean Power Development, LLC|
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