What is biomass fuel?
According to the EIA, biomass fuel is material that comes from plants and animals. When the biomass fuel is burned, energy is released in the form of heat. Some examples of fuel are wood, crops, garbage, and animal manure. Since new plants can be grown, biomass is a source of renewable energy.
In Virginia, biomass fuel comes from waste wood left behind as part of the logging process for roundwood.
Converting to biomass energy
Three of our existing coal-fired power stations were converted to generate 100% renewable biomass energy. The stations are the Altavista, Hopewell and Southampton power stations located in Virginia. They produce enough electricity from biomass fuels to power roughly 38,000 homes.
The conversion projects were selected to address customers’ growing need for reliable electricity while also proving savings to the customer.
Helping the environment and customers
By generating biomass energy, extra renewable energy certificates can be used for customer benefit. The conversions further reduce emissions and meet EPA’s existing or proposed regulations.
The conversions promote job growth within Virginia by creating roughly 300 jobs for logging, chipping and hauling of the biomass fuel to the three facilities.