Ameresco gets final clearance for Savannah River biomass plant

Ameresco has received its final acceptance certificate from the U.S. Department of Energy for completion of construction on the Savannah River Biomass Cogeneration Facility in South Carolina.

The renewable energy and efficiency developer, installed the generator with $795m in funds awarded through a May 2009 energy savings performance contract, according to a news release from the company.

The newly operational 20 MW plant is on schedule to provide the necessary process steam to the site, as well as about 30 per cent of power when it becomes fully operational in 2012.

The cogeneration facility, which includes three biomass-fueled plants, is expected to generate $944m in energy, water, operations and maintenance savings during Ameresco's 19-year plant performance agreement, according to the company, while generating up to half the necessary energy to power the 300-square mile Savannah River Site.

The facility will burn 325000 tons of fuel per year, according to Ameresco, and is expected to yield approximately $34m in utility cost savings during its first year of operations.

Ameresco executive vice president Keith Derrington said, "This partnership has resulted in the single largest performance-based renewable energy savings contract in U.S. history."

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