Rayonier To Sell Biomass-Based Energy

Rayonier Performance Fibers and the Florida Public Utilities Company have announced a 10-year renewable energy agreement under which the forest products company will sell FPUC excess energy generated by a biomass-based 22.5 MW turbine generator at its Fernandina, Fla. mill.

Rayonier installed the $25 million turbine seven years after investing nearly $30 million in a biomass-fired power boiler at Fernandina. The new turbine makes the mill electrically self-sufficient, the performance fiber company says.

Additionally, the company’s mill in Jesup, Ga. generates more than 99 percent of its power needs primarily from biomass, Rayonier says.

FPUC says the energy it purchases from Rayonier will provide sufficient energy to power more than 1,200 homes and will lower ratepayers’ energy bills.

According to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, which houses the state’s Office of Energy, the agreement will save FPUC customers more than $1.2 million.

Over the summer, Southern Company’s 100 MW Nacogdoches Generating Facility – which the company calls the nation’s largest biomass plant – became operational, and started putting electricity on the grid in Texas, Environmental Leader reports.

Worldwide investment in clean energy totaled $56.6 billion in the third quarter of 2012, down 5 percent on the previous quarter and 20 percent below Q3 of last year, but on-site installations have remained strong, according to research company Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The latest numbers, released last week, suggest that 2012 clean energy investment will fail to match last year’s record $280 billion, and it is likely that full-year investment will fall for the first time in at least eight years.

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