Today, officials from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Ameresco, Inc., a leading energy efficiency and renewable energy company, came together to mark the first year of successful operation of its new renewable energy fueled cogeneration facility at the Savannah River Site (SRS). Under the Department’s single largest renewable Energy Savings Performance Contract (ESPC), the DOE contracted with Ameresco in 2009 to finance, design, construct, operate, maintain and fuel the 34-acre renewable energy facility over the term of the 20-year contract.
The DOE Savannah River Site Biomass Cogeneration Facility in Aiken, South Carolina. (Photo: Business Wire)One year ago, the SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility began commercial operation and replaced the 1950s-era deteriorating, inefficient coal powerhouse and oil-fired boilers. Thursday morning’s ceremony celebrates the first full year of operational success, specifically highlighting its performance, safety record, and environmental compliance. In the first year the facility operated without interruption, averaging 200,000 pounds of steam per hour while generating a total of 1.67 billion pounds of steam and 97,000 megawatts of electricity. The plant processed more than 10,000 tons of tires and 221,000 tons of clean biomass, consisting of local forest residue and wood chips. There were no recordable safety issues during the first year of operation, equating to more than 115,500 man hours without incident. “Today recognizes the teamwork from the DOE/Ameresco Project Team that successfully steered this project safely and efficiently through its first year of operation,” said David Moody, DOE Savannah River Manager. “The SRS Biomass Cogeneration Facility supports the Department’s energy efficiency and sustainability goals, and with the success of this facility, it shows SRS is working to meet national challenges in strategic areas such as sustainability and clean energy.”