California coal plant converts to biomass
California electricity company Macpherson Energy Company announced recently that it had successfully converted a major coal plant to run entirely on biomass, according to Power Engineering Magazine.
The 44-megawatt Mt. Poso cogeneration plant in Kern County, which produces both heat and electricity, California has been generating power with coal for more than 20 years.
But with the growing interest in renewable electricity, Macpherson sought out help in converting its plant to a more environmentally friendly fuel.
With the help of DTE Energy Services, a branch of Michigan utility company DTE Energy, the company spent 15 months converting the plant to run on local waste, largely wood from construction waste, tree trimmings and the local agriculture sector.
"This is a proud day – we're creating jobs, reducing emissions, and delivering clean renewable electricity," Donald Macpherson, president and chief executive officer of Macpherson, said in a statement. "The new Mt. Poso biomass plant is good for the Kern County economy and good for the environment."
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency notes that California has a strict renewables portfolio standard that will require 20 percent of all electricity to come from green energy by the end of next year. This includes biomass such as the new Mt. Poso plant.