Florida PSC Approves 100 MW Cogen Plant

The Florida Public Service Commission recently approved the city of Gainesville’s proposal to build a 100 MW wood-burning power plant, reversing course from February, when the commission appeared poised to deny the project before giving city officials more time to answer concerns. The proposal features a 30-year contract between Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and American […]

The Florida Public Service Commission recently approved the city of Gainesville’s proposal to build a 100 MW wood-burning power plant, reversing course from February, when the commission appeared poised to deny the project before giving city officials more time to answer concerns. The proposal features a 30-year contract between Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) and American Renewables to establish the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center. The plant would be built, owned and operated by Boston-based American Renewables and fueled by woody residuals from a variety of sources within a 75-mi. radius of Gainesville.

A big concern voiced by the PSC in February was the plant’s viability, and one commissioner claimed it could lose $100 million over the life of the contract without major federal incentives. American Renewables officials claimed the project was viable even without subsidies, and plan to begin construction on the $400-$500 million facility in December if the plant’s design is approved by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection and other state agencies. Project officials say the plant should be operational by 2013.

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