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Texas homes new $500m biomass power plant

US power business Southern Company has completed a 100MW biomass facility in Texas.

The power plant is based on 165 acres, will primarily use wood waste from saw mills as a feedstock and is reported to have cost around $500 million (€412.4 million). A 20-year power purchase contract has also been signed with Austin Energy.

‘We recognise our on-time, on-budget completion of the nation's largest biomass-fueled power plant,’ says Southern president Thomas Fanning. ‘This is an important milestone for the community, the city of Austin and us, as the plant provides jobs and economic impact for Nacogdoches County and further diversifies the fuel portfolios of Austin Energy and Southern Company to strengthen the nation's energy independence.’

It is said the facility will deliver $58 million in taxes to the county over a 20-year period and direct and indirect job impact of approximately $5.1 million per year. The plant created more than 1,000 craft jobs at the height of construction and provides 40 permanent positions.

Urban wood waste, tree limbs and branches produced by storms and other non-commercial loggin-derived biomass will also be considered as feedstock.