Report: 40 MW of new biomass power capacity came online in July

By Erin Voegele | August 14, 2013

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s Office of Energy Projects has published its Energy Infrastructure Update for July 2103, reporting one new biomass unit with an installed capacity of 40 megawatts (MW) was placed in service during the month.

According to the report, Graphic Packaging International Inc.’s 40 MW Graphic Packaging Biomass plant in Macon County, Ga., is now operational. The biomass system is fueled by logging residues at the Macon paperboard mill. Power generated at the new facility will be used onsite.

Since the beginning of the year, the FERC reports that 40 new biomass units have come online, with a combined installed capacity of 161 MW. During the same period of 2012, 91 biomass projects with a combined capacity of 395 MW came online.

As of the close of July, the U.S. was home to 15.17 gigawatts (GW) of biomass power production capacity, which equates to 1.31 percent of total U.S. capacity. Of the non-hydro renewable technologies, only wind has a greater capacity, with 60.14 GW, or 5.17 percent of total U.S. capacity. Geothermal steam, solar and waste heat each account for a respective 0.33 percent, 0.46 percent and 0.09 percent of total U.S. capacity. Water accounts for 8.52 percent.

In July, the FERC reports that only 9 other new power generation units came online, including two natural gas units with a combined capacity of 144 MW. In addition, one water units with a capacity of 4 MW and six solar units with a combined capacity of 11 MwWcame online during the month. No new coal, nuclear or oil units were placed into service in July.