As a power plant goes green, plenty of companies say they can help. Ground was broken last month on process of converting the Charter Street Plant at UW-Madison from its coal fired roots, to run completely on biomass by late 2013.
Gary Radloff, with the UW’s Wisconsin Bioenergy Initiative, praises the decision to upgrade the campus plant. He says it takes biomass from theory to practice.
“We’re learning a great deal about biomass now that we have to analyze it. First off before it comes to the plant and next in terms of a critical air emissions type of issue,” he says.
WBI put out a survey in which 59 companies responded they had feedstock to help fuel the plant. Fifty percent of the contributions would be from forest products: agriculture residue and waste residuals comprised 25-percent each.
However Radloff says the firms wanted to sell the feedstock for too high a price tag. Eventually he says a larger market will drive prices down but suggests long term contracts may be a way to curtail prices until then.