FirstEnergy Turns to Biomass

April 1, 2009
Ohio plant will be capable of producing up to 312 megawatts of electricity using crop material

FirstEnergy Corp. plans to use primarily biomass material to repower two units at a southeast Ohio plant, the company said April 1.

The company will use material derived from an energy crop grown specifically for use as fuel to generate electricity at its R.E. Burger plant in Shadyside, Ohio. FirstEnergy expects that biomass will produce lower emissions overall than if it was retrofitted with a scrubber.

The capital cost for retrofitting the Burger Plant to burn biomass is estimated at approximately $200 million. Once the project is completed, the two retrofitted units could be capable of producing up to its current capacity of 312 megawatts of electricity -- enough to power approximately 190,000 homes.

When completed FirstEnergy's portfolio of renewable energy could total more than 1,100 MW, including 451 MW of pumped-storage hydro and 376 MW of wind power.

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