Wood Waste Energy
Because of its extensive pine forests and existing forest-related industries, Georgia has a large potential for electricity production using woody biomass. Several biomass facilities have been built and are operating in the state. However, an uncertain regulatory environment and other factors have limited biomass development to date. This could change in the future. Green Power EMC has one biomass resource, the Rabun Gap Biomass Facility in Rabun County, Ga.
Rabun Gap Biomass Facility
Type of Facility: The project is a renewable power plant that uses wood chips from Georgia’s forestry industry to create electricity.
Location: Rabun County, Ga., near Rabun Gap.
Generating Capacity: The plant is capable of producing about 18 megawatts (MW) of power - enough to power about 10,000 homes.
Year of Commercial Operation: The plant began commercial operation in 2010.
Role of Green Power EMC: In 2009, Green Power EMC entered a 20-year agreement to purchase the output of the facility for distribution to participating Green Power Members.
Owner/Operator: Owned by Rockland Capital, operated by PurEnergy.
Renewable Properties: In addition to using woody waste for fuel, the plant has other renewable aspects. For example, it converted an existing power plant, including boiler, from a local factory that closed earlier.
How It Works: The Rabun Gap plant chips up limbs and branches typically trimmed from the main tree during pulpwood operations and normally left in the forest to decompose. These chips are burned to create steam that powers a steam-turbine electric generator.