Southern Power Company, a subsidiary of Southern Company , acquires, builds, manages, and owns wholesale generation assets, which operates a 100 megawats (MW) biomass power plant in Sacul, Texas (in NW Nacogdoches County). Groundbreaking occured in November 2009 and began commercial operation in June 2012.
The plant serves the electricity needs in Austin, Texas and generates 100MW. It is the largest biomass power plant in the U.S.
The plant consists of a bubbling fluidized-bed boiler, a condensing steam turbine generator with an evaporative cooling tower, wood fuel handling system and auxiliary support equipment. The plant is fueled with non-merchantable wood biomass materials, including forest residue from the surrounding areas, pre-commercial thinnings, wood processing residues and clean municipal wood waste. Approximately 1 million tons of fuel will be required annually, which is procured within a 75-mile radius of the project site.
The Nacogdoches generating facility fulfills a 20-year contract to provide electricity to Austin Energy, based in Austin, Texas. The plant will pay approximately $58 million in new taxes over 20 years and is investing in education in the community. Prime Acres Inc., the plant’s first fuel load supplier, joined Southern Power in a donation towards the Nacogdoches County Career and Technical Training Center. Southern Company is also a proud participant in forestry education with Stephen F. Austin State University, located in Nacogdoches, endowing the Southern Power Forestry Scholarship in 2012.
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