ADAGE, Energy Northwest to Pursue Development of New Biomass Plants
February 18, 2009
February 18, 2009
ADAGE and Energy Northwest signed today a preliminary agreement to develop wood waste biomass power plants in the states of Washington, Idaho, Montana and Oregon. According to the agreement, the companies plan to jointly market clean wood biopower (biomass to electricity) to the 24 member utilities that comprise Energy Northwest, and to other regional utilities, with the goal of constructing and operating one or more 50 megawatt (MW) power generation plants in these states.
ADAGE is a joint venture between AREVA and Duke Energy created to provide clean, biopower energy solutions to U.S. electricity customers. Within the joint venture, AREVA will construct the biomass power plants, and Duke Energy Generation Services, a Duke Energy business unit that owns and develops renewable energy, will operate the facilities.
“We view this partnership with Energy Northwest as an important step toward realizing clean wood biopower facilities in the Pacific Northwest. This region has great potential for biopower because of the climate and geography as well as demand for green power. We look forward to working with local communities, companies and others to explore possible development locations,” said Reed Wills, president of ADAGE.
State and federal environmental agencies agree that biopower is carbon neutral since burning wood for generation emits carbon that is recycled through photosynthesis from growing trees. Biopower facilities also will have significant impacts on local economies and will create hundreds of new, green-collar jobs. The use of biomass as fuel for power generation utilizes abundant renewable domestic resources and reduces our dependence on imported fuels. Removing this residual wood waste from our forest floors will reduce fire hazards and improve the forests long-term sustainability.
“Our entry into the wood biopower field is a natural extension of Energy Northwest’s long history of environmentally responsible power generation using hydro, wind, solar and nuclear technologies. We are pleased to be able to offer this essentially carbon-neutral generating option to our member utilities throughout Washington and to other interested utilities,” said Vic Parrish, CEO of Energy Northwest.
Biopower plants can operate 24/7, an important advantage over other renewables that are intermittent in nature. As states and localities look to produce a much larger percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, biopower will play a significant role.
“As we provide solutions for environmentally friendly power generation and distribution, AREVA remains committed to renewables, having designed and built more than 100 biopower facilities around the world. ADAGE’s clean, innovative facilities balance our respect for the environment by producing green power with practical concerns such as job creation and investment in local communities,” said Jacques Besnainou, President of AREVA Inc.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration sees great potential in wood biomass power generation, projecting that the current installed capacity of 6,000 MW will double over the next decade.