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Aspen Power to begin operations

In Texas, US, the Aspen Power biomass plant is due to come online on 1 August.

When it does, the plant will generate renewable power from woodchips sourced from timber harvesting businesses. The plant will also utilise waste, untreated woodchips donated by the public.

The plant broke ground in 2008 and completion was scheduled for October 2010. However, it was then postponed from January to March, then to May, then the end of June and, most recently, the middle of July.

As the company's president Danny Vines explains: 'It's all the little nuances. It's like when you're building a house; when you get to last 1% of work, it takes a long time to finish. Multiply that by a thousand.' However, he says the company is 'starting steam blows... and those will run for three to five days to clean out the paths so we have clean steam.'

The plant has faced various setbacks since construction began, as locals were worried the wastewater could have a detrimental effect on the surrounding area. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) received a complaint from a private landowner concerned the wastewater would flow into Ellen Trout Lake and raise the temperature.