Salt River Project tests burning biomass in coal-fired power plant

navajo coal power plant elp

ST. JOHNS, Ariz. (AP) — A utility's coal-fired power plant in eastern Arizona is poised to begin a three-stage experiment to try burning biomass from forest debris along with its normal fuel.

Salt River Project says the Coronado Generating Station's test burns of biomass will help evaluate the viability of reducing the risk of wildfire while creating power from a renewable source.

A one-day test is planned Wednesday. If that's successful, a 10-day burn will start Nov. 10, following by another 10-day burn with a higher percentage of biomass burned along with coal.

The forest debris is left over from cutting and thinning taking place on state land in northern Arizona.

SRP says the power plant isn't designed to burn biomass and that the study will examine potential impacts to the plant's equipment and systems.

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