P&G starts 50-MW biomass project in Georgia - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Generation, Industrial, Sourcing Renewables  -  September 26, 2017

Leveraging partners, P&G starts 50 MW biomass plant

Marking another step toward its energy goals, Procter & Gamble Co. announced the completion of a 50-MW biomass-fueled combined heat and power plant at one of its largest U.S. facilities, touting the importance of its partnerships in bringing the project to fruition. 

The plant, which is owned and operated by Constellation, supplies steam to P&G paper manufacturing facility in Albany, Ga., and generates electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power, according to a joint news release from the companies. Steam from the plant will also be used to power an 8.5-MW steam-to-electricity generator at the Marine Corps Logistics Base in Albany. 

The plant provides P&G with 100% of the steam energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue at that location, and along with the company's recent wind energy project in Texas, almost doubling P&G's use of renewable energy. Toward the company's commitment to obtain 30% of its energy from renewable sources by 2020, the completion of the project gets P&G nearly two-thirds of the way there. 

The plant's fuel supply will come from locally abundant biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned, or potentially sent to landfill, including discarded tree tops, limbs, branches and scrap wood from local forestry operations, crop residuals, such as pecan shells and peanut hulls, and mill waste, such as sawdust. 

Steve Skarda, P&G's global climate and energy leader, said earlier this year that the company's journey to complete the project required perseverance, and ultimately demonstrated the importance of working collaboratively with trusted partners. 

"[W]e started trying to figure the project out all on our own. We thought, 'we’re engineers, this is a problem and we can crack it,'" he said at the Smart Energy Decisions Innovation Summit in March. "That was, I don't want to say silly or foolish, because ultimately, our approach helped us determine what the unique elements were that we needed to drive it, but at the end of the day, there were a lot of parties involved."

The plant's development and construction also included collaboration with the Albany-Dougherty Economic Development Commission, local city, county and state leaders, and energy companies. DCO Energy, which provided engineering, procurement and construction services, holds a small stake in the plant. Constellation's affiliate, Exelon Generation, operates and maintains the plant; both are subsidiaries of Exelon Corp. 

"By powering our Bounty and Charmin plant with renewable energy, consumers can feel good about putting these products in their carts," P&G Vice President Product Supply and Sustainability Stefano Zenezini said in a statement. "We are using our innovative capabilities and those of our external partners to drive meaningful change that is good for the environment and good for business."

Southern Co. subsidiary Georgia Power's purchase of energy from Constellation is part of its efforts to encourage and cultivate renewable energy sources in Georgia, and was made possible under a program co-developed with and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission, according to the Sept. 26 news release. 

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