Biomass Super ESPC Q&A

July 28, 2004

You've asked...

Q. Our facility is interested in renewable energy but heard it is expensive and unproven. Is that correct?

A. Definitely not. Many renewable energy resources and technologies have been around for years and might prove to be the least cost option. For example, a combined-heat-and-power (CHP) project that could run on a waste resource such as wastewood or landfill gas would most likely be less expensive than a system operated on natural gas, oil, or even coal.

Q. Apart from the environmental benefits, are there any other advantages to installing a renewable energy system?

A. Two likely benefits are price stability and energy security. By employing, for example, a biomass-to-energy system, a facility could insure itself against price volatility associated with fossil fuels and interruptions in the gas and electric utility grids.

Q. Under DOE's Biomass Super ESPC contract, does the resource need to be located on federal property in order to qualify?

A. No, it makes no difference whether a resource such as landfill gas, digester gas or some type of biomass like waste wood is generated on federal property or brought over by pipeline, rail, or truck.

Q. We have a situation where the energy generation potential from our collected wood waste exceeds our facilities needs. What can we do, size the system to our load or size it to the resource?

A. In that setting, under the Biomass Super ESPC contract, the ESCO could install a system sized to the resource and sell the excess energy to another customer such as the grid.