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Charlotte’s biomass web

In North Carolina, US, the city of Charlotte’s first biomass power plant is due to be complete by 31 December.

The North Carolina Utilities Commission has approved a $12 million (€8.87 million) 3.2MW proposed facility by Orbit Energy Filings with the commission that Orbit intends to sell the energy produced, a total of 23 gigawatt-hours annually, to Duke Energy for the next 20 years.

However, no contract has been signed. The deal would help Duke Energy meet state requirements that went into effect this year requiring utilities to sell energy produced by renewable resources.

For this year, the requirement is that 0.5% of all sales come from solar energy. But that number grows in steps to 12.5% of energy sales coming from various renewable sources by 2021.

The plant also will qualify for renewable-energy credits for the power it produces. The filings do not say who those credits will be sold to. The credits can be bought by utilities in North Carolina to help offset their obligation to sell some power produced from renewable-energy sources.

The plant will use anaerobic digestion to break down waste food, vegetation, paper and other biodegradable materials and convert them into a biogas. That gas, largely methane and carbon dioxide, will be burned to produce energy.