The Snowflake White Mountain Biomass Power Plant, a wood-fired biomass energy plant located near Snowflake, Ariz., is generating renewable energy to more than 9,000 Arizona homes.
Owned and operated by Renegy Holdings, Inc., the 24-megawatt plant is generating electricity through a wood-burning boiler using wood-waste material from area forests and waste recycled paper fibers from the Catalyst Paper Corporation paper mill, located near the facility.
"The commercial operation of our Snowflake plant is a significant milestone for our company, and marks the first of many more biomass plants we plan to own and operate as we seek to rapidly grow our portfolio of renewable energy assets," said Bob Worsley, chairman and CEO of Renegy.
The site, which opened on June 10, will offer an alternative energy source to SRP and APS and will be the newest addition to both companies' portfolios of renewable energy programs.
"We have signed a contract agreement with Renegy for biomass energy because it offers customers a source of renewable, reliable electricity," said Steven Gotfried, a spokesperson for APS. "We are continuing to look for more renewable energy projects that will provide our customers with affordable and reliable energy alternatives."
APS, which offers a Green Choice program to its customers who wish to purchase additional renewable energy for one cent per kilowatt hour, is scheduled to receive 14 megawatts of power from the facility.
SRP will receive 10 megawatts to add to its Sustainable Portfolio program, which includes the M-Power prepaid energy program, the largest residential prepaid metering program in the nation, said Patty Garcia-Likens, spokesperson for SRP.
"SRP has contracted to purchase 10 megawatts of energy from the plant and APS has contracted to purchase the remaining megawatts the plant produces," said Megan Meloni, director of investor relations and marketing communications for Renegy. "Since the Snowflake White Mountain Biomass Power Plant generates 24 megawatts in total, APS is scheduled to purchase the remaining 14 megawatts."
At least 75 percent of the Snowflake plant's production will come from forest-thinning efforts in support of the Healthy Forest Initiative, a 2003 federal law designed to help protect forest lands against detrimental fires by focusing on responsible cleaning of brush in areas near private homes and property, according to a press release.
Renegy, based in Tempe, is a renewable energy company focused on acquiring, developing and operating a growing portfolio of biomass generation facilities. Other business activities include an established fuel aggregation and wood products division, which collects and transports forest thinning and woody waste biomass fuel to its power plants.