Gainesville biomass plant earns FSC certification

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a 102.5MW biomass-fired power plant in Florida, US has received Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification.

The certification affirms that GREC's purchase procedures for its waste wood fuels conform to the FSC Chain of Custody standard. It is the first power generation facility ever to receive this certification.

The certification assessment was conducted by SCS Global Services, a third-party certification body accredited under the FSC programme.

FSC certification is considered the world's gold standard for responsible forestry practices in the forest products industry. The FSC Chain of Custody certification confirms that GREC employs a stringent set of procedures that allow it to trace the path of products from forests through the supply chain, and thereby source its wood used for renewable power generation with certainty.

This certification is just the latest step in GREC's efforts to encourage responsible forestry practices throughout the region. Its trained forestry staff, along with a representative from the City of Gainesville, inspect each forest supplier's operations to assure compliance with minimum performance thresholds contractually required by the city of Gainesville. In addition, GREC has had its forest sustainability plan independently evaluated by SCS.

Brian Condon, wood procurement manager for GREC's wood procurement contractor Bio-Resource Management, says: 'Chain of Custody means that GREC knows the origin of every load of delivered fuel that crosses its scales. GREC's fuel producers submit documentation about the source of fuel they are shipping prior to delivery. Upon arrival at GREC, the facility's scale management system records data on each load, thereby providing a record of each producer's deliveries from each production point. The entire process is verified by inspection on a continual basis by fuel procurement staff to confirm agreement between submitted documentation and actual production of material delivered to GREC.'

Jim Gordon, GREC's CEO, adds: 'Our FSC Chain of Custody certification is an important part of our commitment to forest sustainability. This certification demonstrates that our fuel comes from our trusted partners, leading logging operators in the region who have stepped up to meet our stringent forest management standards.'

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