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Florida utility receives state approval for biomass-to-energy facility.

Commissioners from Florida's Public Service Commission have approved a petition for a new biomass-to-energy plant operated by the Gainesville Regional Utilities and the American Renewables company.

The planned 100-megawatt energy plant, the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, will be constructed, owned and operated by American Renewables. GRU will purchase and own 100% of the energy produced.

The plant, approved this week, will use local supplies of clean woody waste including urban wood waste, wood processing wastes and logging residue.

GRU General Manager Bob Hunzinger said the plant will improve the reliability of the utility's aging generation fleet; reduce the utility's exposure to fluctuations in coal prices and to provide long-term cost savings to customers.

"Of the options currently available in Florida, biomass is the most cost-effective long-term choice," Hunzinger said. "Today's decision by the PSC will allow us to move forward with plans to ensure GRU is able to deliver reliable, competitively priced electricity in an environmentally responsible manner now and in the future."

Construction on the biomass facility is expected to begin in December 2010, with operations to begin in 2013.

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Publication:Solid Waste Report
Date:Aug 12, 2010
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