Biomass power plant operational at Savannah River Site

The Department of Energy (DOE) and Ameresco Inc. (NYSE: AMRC) on March 12 said a new $795 million renewable energy fueled facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS) is now operational.

The 34-acre SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility is the single largest renewable Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC) in the nation's history.

The SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility replaced a 1950s-era coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers, and will generate an estimated $944 million in savings in energy, operation and maintenance costs over the duration of the contract.

The project also won the 2012 Biomass Project of the Year for Renewable Energy World's Excellence in Renewable Energy Awards.

Biomass, consisting of local forest residue and wood chips, and bio-derived fuels will be the primary fuel source for the facility, which has the capacity to combust 385,000 tons of forest residue into 20 MW of power annually.

DOE signed onto an ESPC with Ameresco in 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain, and fuel the new biomass facility under a 20-year fixed price contract valued at $795 million.

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