Biofuel conversion for 44 MW Californian power plant

Santa Monica based Macpherson Energy Company and Detroit based DTE Energy Services have converted a 44 MW cogeneration facility near Bakersfield, California, US to run 100 per cent biofuel instead of coal - primarily urban and agricultural wood waste

The conversion project at the Mt. Poso facility in Kern County began in November 2010, with the plant producing limited amounts of clean power in November 2011. Since then workers have fine tuned operations to bring the capacity up to 44 MW.

The wood feedstock for the power plant comes from construction waste, tree trimmings, and agricultural sources. The companies claimed that the woody-biomass fuelled power plant will reduce emissions compared to the previous coal-fired facility.

According to the company, prior to firing the feedstock for the facility is reduced to a consistent size to improve combustion. Once fully combusted the residual ash is recycled as bedding material for local dairy farms, road base and soil amendments.

Macpherson Energy said that the cogeneration plant utilises steam to enhance production at a nearby oil field and uses water from the oil field to supply the power plant.

The company added that its wholly owned subsidiary Macpherson Operating Company operates the West Mt. Poso Oil Field, which supplies the water for the cogeneration plant.

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