P&G and Constellation to build 50MW biomass plant

In the US state of Georgia, Procter & Gamble (P&G) and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corp., will jointly develop a biomass plant with a capacity of up to 50MW which will help run one of P&G's largest US facilities.

The plant will significantly increase P&G's use of renewable energy and move the company closer to its 2020 target of obtaining 30% of its total energy from renewable sources.

Constellation will build, own and operate the $200 million (€175 million) cogeneration plant, which will supply steam to P&G's paper manufacturing facility in Albany and generate electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power.

For more than 30 years, the Albany facility has been using a smaller onsite biomass boiler to convert wood waste intro renewable steam, providing about 30% of the total energy. The new facility will replace P&G's aging boiler with an efficient combined heat and power biomass unit. Incoming biomass will provide 100% of the steam, and up to 60-70% of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toiler tissue.

'As this project enables us to operate one of our largest global plants with a renewable energy source, it will reduce the environmental footprint of two leading brands, Bounty and Charmin,' says Martin Riant, P&G executive sponsor of sustainability of group presidential, global baby and feminine and family care.

In the initial planning for the plant, P&G and Constellation outlines sustainable 'procurement standards' for the project. The plant's fuel supply will come from biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned or potentially sent to landfill, including discarded tree tops, limbs, braches and scrap wood from local forestry operations, crop residuals, such as pecan shells and peanut hulls, and mill waste, such as sawdust.

Georgia Power's purchase of energy from Constellation, at or below Georgia Power's avoided cost, is part of its multifaceted strategy to encourage and cultivate renewable energy sources in Georgia and was made possible under a programme developed in coordination with and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission. Constellation is currently under contract to sell 42MW of capacity and energy from the 50MW facility to Georgia Power.

DCO Energy will hold a minority stake in the project and provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Constellation's affiliate, Exelon Generation, will operate and maintain the plant. Sterling Energy Assets worked with Constellation to develop the project.

Construction activities have already begun on the site with the plant scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2017. Construction is expected to create up to 500 new jobs over the next two years, with an additional 50-70 permanent local jobs for ongoing operations once the plant is built.

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