Ground broken on 100 MW wood energy project in Florida
The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC), a 100-megawatt biomass power project in Gainesville, Florida, held a groundbreaking ceremony on October 11. The event was attended by over 100 citizens, including Gainesville Mayor Craig Lowe, and a number of other state legislators and dignitaries.
GREC began construction in March, and is already employing over 235 workers at the site today. This number will rise to nearly 900 as construction activities accelerate.
Opening the proceedings, Jim Gordon, President of GREC said, “Once GREC is operational, it will spend approximately $30 million annually buying wood from the surrounding region. This money will support the forestry industry, including landowners, loggers, truckers and others. Mr. Gordon concluded by thanking a number of non-governmental and governmental agencies including the Forest Landowners Association.
Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) General Manager Bob Hunzinger added, "We at GRU are proud to bring cost-effective, renewable power to our customers. The GREC facility will stabilize costs for the next 30 years, protecting our customers from the unpredictable price fluctuations of fossil fuels.”
GREC LLC has a 30-year contract with GRU to sell all of the electricity from the facility to the utility. The biomass plant will be fueled by clean wood waste that includes, but is not limited to, the tops and limbs from harvested trees, urban wood waste from landscaping contractors and power line/roadway clearance contractors, and residue from lumber mill operations