Coal-fired power plant converted to biomass

Macpherson Energy Co. and DTE Energy Services (DTEES) said the 49.5 MW Mt. Poso cogeneration plant has been completely converted to run 100 percent biomass fuel instead of coal, and is successfully delivering its full capacity of 44 MW of energy to the California grid.

The renewable energy power plant now operates solely on biomass fuel, primarily urban and agricultural wood waste. Before the 15-month conversion, the plant had run for 20-plus years on coal.

The conversion project at Mt. Poso began in November 2010 and the plant began producing limited amounts of power in November 2011.

Macpherson Energy, which has been an owner of the facility since 1987, increased its ownership interest in 2010 as it and DTEES bought previous partners’ interests. DTEES and Macpherson Energy are equal owners of Mt. Poso. An affiliate of DTEES operates the power plant.

The Mt. Poso plant has a long term agreement to sell renewable energy to Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (NYSE: PCG) and the plant will help PG&E meet California’s 33-percent renewable power requirement.

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