NFREC Developer Forced To Back Out Of Project

Rentech, Inc., the developer of the Northwest Florida Renewable Energy Center, has been forced to back out of the project, citing an inability to secure financing. The developer had hoped to secure a federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, but this summer the DOE put the term sheet for the loan guarantee […]

Rentech, Inc., the developer of the Northwest Florida Renewable Energy Center, has been forced to back out of the project, citing an inability to secure financing. The developer had hoped to secure a federal loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, but this summer the DOE put the term sheet for the loan guarantee on hold due to the large number of projects awaiting available funding.

Rentech, a Colorado-based renewable energy company, had also sought financing in the private sector, but the current economic environment presented too many hurdles for the project, a 55-megawatt energy plant to be built in Port St. Joe. According to numbers provided by Rentech, the project would have produced up to 200 construction jobs during the 18-month build and 30 to 35 permanent jobs at the plant, and another 75 to 100 jobs in the fuel chain.

The plant, as proposed, would produce steam to drive generators to produce electricity using woody biomass, or forest residue, as the fuel source. Progress Energy had an agreement in place to purchase electricity from the plant.

Rentech officials hope to revive the project in the future, should the economic outlook change. The company will continue to explore the possibility of bringing in a partner or a buyer for the project.

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