Saturday, October 23, 2010

2nd Center Scoping Visit For Biomass Electricity Plant

Scoping Visit 1

Center Planning To Build Biomass Electricity Plant in Mississippi

The Center and National Clean Fuels (NACF) engaged in their second scoping trip in Mississppi, which is part of the process for their planned construction of a 10 megawatt biomass-to-electricity plant in Port Gibson, Mississippi.  The team included our Center President Norris McDonald and Center Vice President Derry Bigby, NACF President Maurice Stone and Al Dyson, president of Dyson Engineering and Technical Services, Inc.  The Rudy Shields Green Electric plant is projected to begin operating in 2012.

Bigby, Dyson, McDonald, Stone
 The Center scoping team met with representatives of Entergy Mississippi at one of their substation offices in Clinton, Mississippi to get a briefing on the process for interconnection to the electrical grid.  Entergy Mississippi provided a comprehensive and technical presentation on the steps necessary to complete a power purchasing agreement and all of the required steps to construct the plant.   The Entergy briefing was provided by Ed W. Porter, Senior Account Service Manager-Commercial & Industrial Accounts and Dr. Rick Bowley, Ph.D, Senior Wholesale Executive-Transmission Project Development.

Bigby, McDonald, Dyson, Stone
 Our team met with the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at their headquarters office in Jackson, Mississippi.  The DEQ meeting included a briefing about the air and other environmental issues involved in getting appropriate permits for the facility.  These include construction and operating permits (Clean Air Act) and a stormwater runoff permit.  DEQ staff was very helpful and addressed all of our questions.  These questions ranged from capacity factors to timetables to forestry issues.  The DEQ briefing team included Bryan D. Collins, Chief, Energy & Transportation Branch, Montie Hardaway Glenn, Environmental Engineer, Office of Pollution Control, and John Havard, Permit Writer.

The Center scoping crew met with staff at Alcorn State Univesity, in Alcorn State, Mississippi, which is just outside of Port Gibson.  We briefed them on the biomass-to-electricity project and they shared their research projects in the areas of sustainable agriculture and renewable energy.  We discovered that there is an electrical substation on the campus that has a gas line nearby.  A gas line can serve as backup for the wood feedstock for a woodchip power plant.  The Alcorn State University team included Dr. Alton B. Johnson, V.P. for Development and Marketing and Foundation Director, Dr. Dalton McAfee, Dean, School of Agriculture, Research, Extension and Applied Sciences (AREAS), Dr. Girish K. Panicker, Director, Conservation Research Center, Yaw A. Twumasi, Assistant Professor, Geographic Information Sciences & Technology Program Coordinator, Micheal Ezekwe, Director, Swine Development Center, Professor of Animal Science, among others.

Stone, Dyson, McDonald, Bigby
Our team met with a representative of the Mississippi Development Authority Energy Division.  Terrence R. Spears, Senior Project Manager, provided a description of the renewable energy programs at the agency.  After describing our project, Mr. Spears described their agency's energy investement program, the various education and outreach programs available from the agency and he answered all of our questions.

Photo Credits: Dexter Dyson 

 Substation at Alcorn State University
Dyson Engineering President Al Dyson at Entergy Port Gibson Substation
Alcorn State Methane Gas Line (note solar panel)

Lunch at The Old Country Store
 w/ Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves (2nd from right) and Charles Shepphard (far right)
NACF President Maurice Stone at Alcorn State Farm Area
Scoping Visit 1

Scoping Visit 3

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