With my complete lack of faith in the US federal government, it warms my heart aplenty to see so much initiative by local governments and businesses in going green. On Friday of last week, the 19th, two announcements were made that saw plans revealed for two new renewable energy sources.
The first announcement saw Oglethorpe Power Corporation (OPC) announce plans to buld as many as three 100-megawatt biomass electric generating facilities in the state of Georgia. The second, was an announcement by SBD International promising the future construction of a small solar farm in Florida, capable of generating up to 20 megawatts.
And these sorts of announcements come across our desks almost every day. But there are only so many articles we can write that would be as long as this introduction.
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OPC is, according to its website, “is the nation’s largest power supply cooperative with approximately $5 billion in assets serving 38 Electric Membership Corporations which, collectively, provide electricity to 4.1 million Georgia citizens.”
Designed to utilize the states large amount of woody biomass – including chipped pulpwood, wood waste from sawmills and wood remaining in forests after clearing – the Georgian cooperative has already secured options for five potential sites. The first two plants are expected to be up and running by 2014 and 2015, with a possible third ready by the end of 2015.
“With our abundant biomass resources, Georgia has the unique opportunity to expand our use of alternative energy, grow our economy and transform the way we provide energy to our citizens,” said Georgia Governor Sonny Perdue. “Oglethorpe Power’s pioneering investment in alternative energy is consistent with our goal to grow, convert, and use biomass energy to power our homes and businesses.”
SBD’s plans for a solar farm however are much smaller, but no less important. SBD, “a vertically integrated manufacturer and installer of solar panels”, has acquired an agreement to develop property provided by Owen Baynard for the installation of a small solar farm.
“The 49 acre property has been approved for subdivision into approximately 247 lots. However, given the current housing market we think a better use of the land may be to place a small solar farm on the property,” said C. Michael Nurse, CEO of SBD.
“Given the state initiative to encourage solar power and Florida light and Power’s commitment to purchase power from independent power producers, we believe that if we can secure a change in zoning to allow even a portion of the land to be used as a solar farm, the immediate revenue stream even at 7 cents a watt would be tremendous for our income.”
So even though you may not see news of every small development such as these reported, know that they are happening, and we’ll continue to try and bring as many of them to your attention as possible.