Coal Plant Breakdown Causes Gainsville to Switch to Biomass

By Editors of Power Engineering

A mechanical failure at Gainesville Regional Utilities’ Deerhaven coal plant prompted the utility to use its biomass plant as the Florida city’s main power source.

A report from the Gainesville Sun noted the utility was already planning the switch due to a previous issue, but Thursday’s failure in the emission control system of Deerhaven Unit Two sped up the transition.

Dino De Leo, GRU’s energy supply officer, said the utility doesn’t yet know how much repairs will cost or how long they will take.

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, built and operated by Gainesville Renewable Energy under a 30-year contract with GRU, uses wood waste from paper pulp, urban sources and chip and saw timber. The plant began commercial operations in December 2013.

Originally, the biomass plant was planned to provide 30 percent of GRU’s power. 

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