Xcel cancels biomass project in Ashland

Posted on December 2, 2010. Filed under: Biomass |


From a blog post by Tom Content on JSonline:

Xcel Energy on Monday [November 29] halted plans to build a biomass power plant on Lake Superior in Ashland.

The company informed the state Public Service Commission of its decision in a letter Monday.

Xcel had planned to build a biomass gasification plant that would have made the Ashland power plant the largest wood-burning power plant in the Midwest.

The decision came as a result of a significant increase in the cost of the project, as well as declining costs for other generation options. The Eau-Claire-based utility also cited “considerable regulatory uncertainty at the state and federal level.”

The announcement was made one day before the start of Public Service Commission hearings on a separate biomass power plant, proposed by Milwaukee-based We Energies to be built at the Domtar paper mill in Rothschild.

The timing of the announcement was coincidental, and not linked to the We Energies proposal, said David Donovan, Xcel manager of regulatory policy.

“Although we are disappointed with the outcome, we have gained considerable value from the evaluation that we have completed,” said Mike Swenson, president and chief executive of NSP-Wisconsin, a unit of Xcel Energy, said in a statement.

“The engineering studies will advance gasifier technologies for utility applications and our efforts to procure sustainable biomass supplies have resulted in a model that can be adopted in future projects,” Swenson said in a statement. “In addition, as part of this project we helped fund the development of two biomass energy plantations in northern Wisconsin, which will provide valuable research and study opportunities for decades to come.”

Those plantations are testing the development of hybrid poplar and black willow trees for harvesting and burning at the power plant.

Advertisements

Make a Comment

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

    About

    A statewide nonprofit dedicated to promoting economically and environmentally sustainable energy policies and practices in Wisconsin.

    RSS

    Subscribe Via RSS

    • Subscribe with Bloglines
    • Add your feed to Newsburst from CNET News.com
    • Subscribe in Google Reader
    • Add to My Yahoo!
    • Subscribe in NewsGator Online
    • The latest comments to all posts in RSS

    Meta

Liked it here?
Why not try sites on the blogroll...

%d bloggers like this: