Last week, the Gypsum Town Council approved a plan to build and operate a biomass power plant proposed by Eagle Valley Clean Energy LLC. The plant's construction, which is slated to break ground this summer, will be built upon 16 acres east of the American Gypsum plant, north of US Highway 6. The land is part of a 93-acre parcel that Eagle Valley Clean Energy is buying from LaFarge North America and which Gypsum annexed last Tuesday. Overall, the council members voted in favor of the project citing the positive effect it would have on the community in terms of jobs, renewable energy and wildfire mitigation.
What is a biomass plant?
Coinciding with the push for renewable energy options, a biomass plant burns biological material to produce electricity by heating water with the burning material to produce steam, which turns a turbine to produce electricity--a process known as direct combustion. Power plants are common on the Pacific coast, and when completed, this will be the first commercial grade biomass power plant in Colorado. One of the reasons that the plant was so attractive is that it would mitigate the pine beetle kill that has been plaguing our rocky mountain forests ensuring that the plant would never compete for with loggin for valuable wood and and its fuel regrows unlike coal.
For more information on the approval and on biomass plants, please see below:
Gypsum Approves Biomass Plant, Mar 14, 2012, Derek Franz http://www.eaglevalleyenterprise.com/article/20120314/NEWS/120319993/1054&ParentProfile=1001
How a Biomass Plant Works and Details of the Gypsum Plant, Mar 14 2012, Derek Franz http://www.eaglevalleyenterprise.com/article/20120314/NEWS/120319992/1054&ParentProfile=1001
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