FirstEnergy gets go ahead

In Ohio, US, following its application filed in December 2009, energy company FirstEnergy has been granted permission to convert two of its existing coal-powered generators in its R.E. Burger power plant to use biomass fuels.

The conversion is expected to cost $200 million (€156.7 million) and, once complete, will make the facility one of the largest biomass-powered plants in the US.

The retrofit of the two 156MW units will result in all the power produced from biomass being classed as renewable energy. It is expected to be complete by 31 December 2012.

The plant is currently entitled to renewable energy credits of up to 75MW but this has the potential to increase should this facility further reduce its consumption of coal and fossil oil to less than 20%.

To date R.E. Burger has been burning approximately 800,000 tonnes of coal annually. The firm currently generates 14,000MW of power, benefitting 4.5 million customers located in Ohio, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

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