Arizona Utility Looking At Biomass Power Generation

After boosting its solar power generation and adding wind-energy projects in recent years, Tucson Electric Power Co. is looking at biomass generation from burning wood or other organic matter. TEP said Friday that it is seeking information about forest biomass generation systems that could generate power for customers while improving the health of Arizona forests. […]

After boosting its solar power generation and adding wind-energy projects in recent years, Tucson Electric Power Co. is looking at biomass generation from burning wood or other organic matter. TEP said Friday that it is seeking information about forest biomass generation systems that could generate power for customers while improving the health of Arizona forests.

The utility issued a request for information about technologies, costs, environmental benefits, construction requirements and interconnection requirements of forest biomass energy projects. The information will be used to “help determine the feasibility of using forest feedstocks as a renewable resource in Arizona,” TEP said.

Biomass power plants use the heat produced from the combustion of wood or other organic materials to generate electricity. Fuels may include forest residues, crop residues, primary and secondary mill residues, and urban wood waste. TEP said it will coordinate with other Arizona utilities, as appropriate, to consider joint efforts to develop a forest biomass energy project.

The Novo BioPower plant in Snowflake burns chipped wood from Arizona’s forests to produce 27 megawatts of power, which is under contract by Arizona Public Service Co. and the Salt River Project to meet part of the utilities’ renewable-energy requirements.

While some scientists consider biomass generation carbon-neutral, some environmentalists disagree and others are concerned that it could increase other kinds of pollution and lead to over-cutting of forests.

From Tucson.com: https://tucson.com/business/tucson-electric-looking-at-biomass-power-generation/article_110c0b9b-5d12-5972-887b-75838bc47e74.html

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