Nov. 11, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- We Energies announced today that the biomass-fueled power plant on the site of Domtar Corporation's
, paper mill was placed into commercial operation
Friday, Nov. 8
, after testing and commissioning activities were successfully completed.
Wood, waste wood and sawdust are being used to produce up to 50 megawatts (MW) of electricity; steam provided by the plant is also supporting Domtar's sustainable papermaking operations.
This new biomass plant adds another technology to the renewable energy portfolio operated by We Energies.
"The addition of the biomass plant enables us to produce renewable energy on demand," said
, We Energies chairman, president and chief executive officer. "That benefit is simply not available with solar or wind generation."
The company's renewable energy portfolio includes the state's two largest wind developments -- the 145-MW Blue Sky Green Field Wind Energy Center in
Fond du Lac County
and the 162-MW Glacier Hills Wind Park in
. Together, these three projects are capable of delivering nearly 360 MW of renewable energy, enough to supply approximately 120,000 homes.
"These renewable energy projects -- fueled by
resources -- were developed largely through the talents of
labor," added Klappa.
More than 400 workers contributed to the construction of the biomass plant, which also will support approximately 150 permanent jobs in the region, including independent wood suppliers and haulers from northern and central
who will secure waste wood for the project.
law, utilities statewide must use renewable energy to meet 10 percent of the electricity needs of their retail customers by the year 2015. With the commercial operation of the
biomass plant, We Energies estimates that it now has secured enough renewable energy to remain in compliance with the state mandate through 2022.
In addition, Domtar's use of the steam produced by the plant will help improve the paper mill's energy efficiency and reduce overall emissions at the site by more than 30 percent.