Friday, December 17, 2010

Center's Third Scoping Visit For Mississippi Power Plant

Derry Bigby, Al Dyson, Norris McDonald
The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy (Center) met with representatives from South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) and Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association (SWEPA) to discuss feasibility studies, interconnection requirements and a power purchasing agreement on its third biomass-to-electricity (BTE) power plant scoping visit. Plans call for the new BTE plant to generate electricity by gasifying sawdust and woodchips to power a massive turbine.

The Southwest Mississippi EPA electrical substation is on Alcorn State University property and the utility has a long term lease with the university to operate the facility. The Center is seeking a similar arrangement for its proposed 10-megawatt power plant. The Center also met with Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves and other city representatives and stakeholders to discuss the power project.

Alton Johnson, Norris McDonald, Marcus Ward, Derry Bigby, Al Dyson
The Center met with Alcorn State University faculty and staff to discuss cooperative energy proposals, including leasing land to the Center for the biomass-to-energy power plant.  The meeting included Dean of Agricultural Research and Applied Sciences Alton Johnson, Vice President for Facility Management and Strategic Planning Jessie Stephney, and Associate Vice President for Development and Alumni Affairs Marcus Ward.  The Center team included Center President Norris McDonald, Center Vice President Derry Bigby and engineering consultant Al Dyson, president of Dyson Engineering and Technical Services of Memphis, Tennessee.  The meeting was held on campus at the Extension and Research Complex.

The Center expects to meet with the new president of Alcorn State in January to begin negotiations to secure a long term lease for the property to build and operate the biomass -to-electricity plant. We are also discussing supplemental projects that could complement the biomass project. These projects include fuel cell electricity production and natural gas pipelines. The natural gas will serve as a backup source for the biomass plant.

The Center toured the Alcorn State University campus and met with facilities managers to discuss the implications of the power plant. The university is in a very rural area and is basically a self-contained city, providing its own drinking water from wells (see one below), water storage and treatment facility (see photo at left) and has its own wastewater treatment plant (see photo at right). There are also numerous research projects that are either ongoing or have ceased for various reasons, including the fuel cell and chicken production facilities. The Center is examining the feasibility of partnering with the university in an expanded program to assist this 'city' in meeting its energy needs.

Groundwater pump and pipe to treatment facility

Fuel Cell in background
Alcorn State University constructed a groundbreaking fuel cell electricity generating station 14 years ago.  However, lack of funding and staff changes led to the project being mothballed.  The Center is interested in working with Alcorn State University to install a modern hydrogen fuel cell to revive this groundbreaking project.  All of the infrastructure is still there, including a 3-transformer interconnect with the electricity line.

Ellis Neal, J.B. Darris, A.C. Garner, Clarence Scutter,
 Norris McDonald, Lorraine Lias, Al Dyson, Mayor Fred Reeves
The Center met with Port Gibson Mayor Fred Reeves and other stakeholders to discuss the biomass-to-electricity project.  Mayor Reeves has been a tireless advocate and ally in supporting the biomass-to-electricity.  In addition to the energy reliability and environmental benefits, Mayor Reeve's singular interest is in creating more jobs in Port Gibson.  The stakeholders shared their support for the project and encouraged Center representatives to proceed with all deliberate speed to get construction approved.  The Center has approval from the City of Port Gibson to proceed and is seeking county approval for the project.

The Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy and its project affiliate, National Clean Fuels (PinkSheets: NACF) are working together to build a biomass-to-electricity (BTE) plant near Port Gibson, Mississippi.  During the trip, Center President Norris McDonald described to area stakeholders how the biomass generator will produce an abundance of energy that can be redistributed along the energy grid in Port Gibson and surrounding areas.

The Center and National Clean Fuels are dedicated to developing clean, reliable electricity production.

1st Scoping Visit

2nd Scoping Visit

4th Scoping Visit

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