Area Development
Southern Power, a subsidiary of energy provider Southern Company, will construct a biomass power plant in Sacul, Texas, after acquiring Nacogdoches Power LLC from American Renewables LLC. A statement from the company says it will break ground on the new plant this fall, with expected completion and commercial operation in the summer of 2012. At full operation, the plant is expected to produce approximately 100 megawatts of power. The transaction includes a 20-year power purchase agreement with Austin Energy, the municipal utility that serves the Austin, Texas, area. "Southern Power continually seeks appropriate opportunities that fit the business strategy and risk profile of the company," says David Ratcliffe, the company's chair, president, and CEO. "We are especially pleased that this project is consistent with our goal to pursue cost-effective renewable energy options that allow us to continue to provide reliable, affordable, and cleaner electricity." The plant will be fueled with such biomass materials as forest residue, wood processing residues, and clean municipal wood waste. It will require approximately 1 million tons of fuel materials annually that will be taken from sites within a 75-mile radius of the plant.