Wisconsin Claims to have Excess of Bio-Mass
Contemplating converting its Charter Street Heating Plant from coal based to bio-mass based fuel, the State of Wisconsin commissioned a survey of 59 local business which indicated that they are capable of providing more than 13 times its expected annual requirements.
“The message is clear: we have biomass businesses right here in our own state that want to grow,” says Gov. Jim Doyle. “This is an enormous economic opportunity for our state to keep the money we spend on energy in the local economy and create green jobs in the area.”
According to the Department of Administration the respondents came from forest products (in northern Wisconsin), agriculture and waste materials industries (in central and southern Wisconsin). Approximately 50% of the respondents were forestry based businesses, 25% agriculture and 25% waste oriented.
Governor Doyle hopes to begin the plant conversion next year and to complete the conversion into operating exclusively on bio-mass and natural gas fuel by 2013. In preparation for that change, the State wanted to ensure that the newly configured plant would have an adequate supply of resources.
While the plant would require 250,000 tons of biomass, local businesses collectively indicated that 3.4 million tons would be available.
The findings of the survey further indicated that:
- Bio-mass would range in cost from $2-$11 per million BTU’s;
- Roughly half of the suppliers had access to rail transportation or could develop access; and
- Businesses of widely varying sizes (offering between 1000 and 590,00 tons) had an interest in supplying bio-mass.
In August, the State intends to issue a follow-up survey with more specific information requested.