One of the insights that was shared is the similarity of this process to more traditional biomass processes, which is often used alongside coal-firing operations to reduce the amount of coal used. In that process, wood chips with a 45-55 percent would produce 1 megawatt of power from 10,000 tons per year – 350 days of plant operations per year. A 40 megawatt plant, the scale we’ve been using for reference in the Luray analysis, would need 400,000 tons of wood chips per year.
This post's review of the process revealed and discussed the four major concerns of the communities where biomass plants, like the proposed Fibrowatt plant, are located – trucks, emissions, smells, and emissions. For both the Minnesota and the North Carolina projects, I’ve noted that community outreach efforts were established to educate, inform, and negotiate. Also, as I mentioned above, these are likely the basis of the environmental impact discussions in North Carolina. So our next step on the Hawksbill Cabin blog will be to take a more in depth look at these issues.