Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance: Biomass plant conversion another opportunity for clean energy generation

Contact: Joshua Morby 414.791.9120

MILWAUKEE – News that Xcel Energy plans to fully convert its power plant in Ashland to be able to be powered by biomass is another opportunity for Wisconsin’s bio industry to continue to emerge as a national leader in the world of renewable energy.

“With news in recent weeks of several coal to biomass plant conversions, it’s clear that biopower generation is emerging as a major economic and environmental opportunity for the state of Wisconsin,” said Joshua Morby, Executive Director of the WBIA.  “This latest move by Xcel capitalizes on the immense biological resources our state offers to create clean-burning, renewable energy.”

The conversion, which is estimated to cost $58 million, will make Xcel’s Bay Front Power Plant the largest biomass plant in the Midwest. The facility currently burns biomass in two of its three boilers.

Governor Doyle announced plans for the Charter Street Heating Plant in Madison to transform their operations to be powered by biomass when a new boiler comes online in 2012.  

“Bio power generation offers a tremendous amount of promise in creating jobs and growing our state’s economy,” Morby said.  “Increasing energy generated from biomass will reduce our dependence on fossil fuels while creating new markets for Wisconsin products.”

The Wisconsin Bio Industry Alliance is a diverse group of businesses, environmental groups, and statewide and local organizations that have come together to build both public and legislative awareness of the Bio Industry in Wisconsin.

For more information about the Alliance, or to find out how to join, please visit our website: http://www.wisconsinbioindustry.com.