Largest Midwest plant gets green approval

The American Midwest is known for big things. Now a project to create the largest biomass-fuelled plant in the region has been granted approval.

The Public Service Commission of Wisconsin has unanimously approved the regional utility giant Xcel Energy’s plans to spend $58.1 million (€39 million) to upgrade its Bay Front Power Plant in Ashland, installing biomass gasification technology so that the plant runs entirely on wood waste leftover from harvests in area forests.

Of the plant’s three burners, two already use biomass. The third, a coal-fired unit, will be converted under the project.

Engineering, design and construction work is expected to start in 2010, with the project set to be operational in late 2012.
Xcel Energy operates in eight Western and Midwestern states, including Minnesota.

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