From:                              Michigan Biomass <information=michiganbiomass.com@mail79.wdc01.mcdlv.net> on behalf of Michigan Biomass <information@michiganbiomass.com>

Sent:                               Monday, February 02, 2015 4:21 PM

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Subject:                          [Test] News on biomass energy in Michigan and the US

 

QUICK HITS
hot off the press

 

Michigan power plant participates in federal forest program

Hillman Power Co. was one of 36 biomass conversion facilities eligible to participate in a federal fuel program.

Providers delivering biomass gathered from federal forest health and stewardship activities to approved biomass conversion facilities are eligible for matching payments under the Biomass Crop Assistance Program.

Hillman Power is the only Michigan facility approved. The other facilities are in 13 other states, with most (13) in California.

Hillman Power received approximately 5000 tons of wood material from forestry activity in the Huron-Manistee National Forest aimed at improving health and mitigating the risk for forest fires.

UP group seeks biomass

An activist group in the UP conducted a meeting with loggers and forest owners recently to discuss development of an 11-MW wood plant.
 

The Keweenaw Renewable Energy Coalition hosted the meeting, which featured a Skype presentation by a Finnish renewables expert.

 

The group thinks one of two locations – at mills in Atlantic Mine in Houghton County, and Mohawk, WI – would be ideal locations.

 

Read more at ABC News 10.

 

The Power of Wood is published periodically by Michigan Biomass, a coalition that advocates for, and is supported by, the state's wood-fired power plants. Send questions, comments and inquiries to information@michiganbiomass.com

Snyder to create new energy agency

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder announced in his State of the State address in January the creation of a new agency to coordinate environmental, economic and regulatory issues around energy.

The as-yet unnamed agency will combine various functions of the Department of Environmental Quality, the Public Service Commission, the department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, and the Energy Office of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

Currently, the PSC regulates gas, electricity and telecommunications markets, while the DEQ regulates environmental compliance. The Energy Office heads the state's energy efficiency programs.

The move is expected to improve cross-agency communications as the state is expected to amend electricity legislation this spring, including renewable portfolio and energy efficiency standards.
 

Governor's energy message due in March

In 2012 Gov. Snyder released his "special message on energy and the environment" in which he announced his four "pillars" of a "no regrets" energy policy: affordability, reliability, adaptability and the environment. The 2015 version is due in March.

Gov. Snyder has not released details, but he has said the state needs to wean itself from coal and use more natural gas: a resource Michigan has.

No details to date on when he will deliver that message.
 


Keep cool Michigan;
biomass has your back

Many in Lansing are starting to worry whether we'll have enough power available beginning next year as coal plants start to shut down because of new air standards. Biomass power isn't going anywhere. We'll keep the lights on for you -- and your air conditioners. Read our blog for the whole story.


UP power deal struck

Relief from onerous "must run" costs of  operating an old coal plant could be coming to the Upper Peninsula this summer.

In January the State of Michigan brokered a deal between the mining company, Cleveland Cliffs, We Energy, the Upper Peninsula Power Company and other interests that will stem the cost of operating the outdated Presque Isle coal plant in Marquette and replace it by 2020 with a new gas plant.

Last year the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the Mid-Continent Independent System Operator plan to levy about $100 million in added costs on UP electric customers to keep the coal plant open and power flowing across the UP.

The crisis developed when the mines, which represented about 85 % of UP power demand, opted to take power from an alternative energy provider, causing We Energy to announce plans to close the 431-MW Presque Isle plant, leaving UP power supply in a bind.

Details still have to be worked out.

Read more at Midwest Energy, and Upper Michigan’s Source.com.
 

U of M study says more renewable possible

A study from the University of Michigan says it won’t cost a lot to expand Michigan renewables.

 

The report released last week says it would cost the average ratepayer $2.60 per month to hit a 25-by-25 target.

 

The study covers three scenarios -- 20 by 30, 25 by 25 and 40 by 35, ranging I costs from $1.70 a month $6.70 a month respectively.

 

Read more at Midwest Energy News.
 

Biomass: $934.6 billion nationwide, report says

Under the new categorization system developed by the U.S. Census Bureau, biomass power generation achieved $934.6 million in revenues in 2012.

The report says the U.S. had 105 biomass power plants in 2012, with California having the most, followed by Virginia where Dominion Power has been converting coal plants to biomass. Northern Virginia Electric Co-op built a 50-MW plant in New Boston.

The report pegged annual biomass payroll at $128 million, employing 1,647.

Read more at Biomass Magazine. Additional information on the Census Bureau’s biomass power data is available on the bureau’s website.

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