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NREL’s Presenter on Community-scale Biomass

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1 NREL’s Presenter on Community-scale Biomass
Randy Hunsberger

2 Range of Bio-Energy Possibilities
Biomass Feedstock Conversion Process Products Fuels Ethanol Biodiesel “Green” Gasoline & Diesel Power Electricity Heat Chemicals Plastics Solvents Chemical Intermediates Phenolics Adhesives Furfural Fatty Acids Acetic Acid Carbon Black Paints Dyes, Pigments, and Ink Detergents Etc. Food and Feed Combustion Gasification Pyrolysis Co-firing Enzymatic Fermentation Gas/liquid Fermentation Acid Hydrolysis/Fermentation Trans-esterification Trees Grasses Agricultural Crops Residues Animal Wastes Municipal Solid Waste Algae Food Oils, Waste Oils This slide demonstrates how BioENERGY produces ELECTRICITY and HEAT, but also gives life to many products from FUELS to solvents to detergents and other chemicals as you can see in the yellow box. These photos also demonstrate how biomass feedstock such as yard waste, animal waste and food oils can be made into combustion products. Photos left to right: NREL/PIX 05086, 12481

3 Biomass Siting Factors
Project feasibility depends on: Availability and cost of each type of biomass (chips, pellets, or logs) Competing fuel cost (e.g. fuel oil, natural gas, etc.) Peak and annual thermal load Building size and type Space availability Operation and maintenance staff availability and experience Local emissions regulations Biomass siting and feasibility depends on many factors. The availability and cost of feedstock is dependent on keeping the processing, handling and transportation to a minimum. The competing cost of other fuel sources determines cost effectiveness. If competing against fuel oil or propane, biomass makes sense, but if competing against the low cost of natural gas it’s harder for biomass to be cost effective. Backup or peak load systems may seem like an added cost, but really for a facility scale building this allows you to undersize the biomass system, which decreases capital costs and improves efficiency. For most parts of the country, peak heating load only occurs for a few hours per year, so the system can be sized at 60-70% of peak load and still meet 90% of annual load. Backup systems can be natural gas or oil-FIRED. Other items to consider when planning your site are the building size and type, the fuel delivery routes and access; the O&M staff availability, and local emission regulations.

4 Biomass Resource – GIS Map
Again we start with the map showing viable resources in the United States, and this time more so in the east, in the western seaboard and especially in the north east and great lakes area. This GIS Maps includes static data for several categories: Resources by County Biomass per square kilometer Crop residues Forest residues Mill residues Etc.

5 What’s New? First biomass power plant in Colorado began operations in Gypsum/Eagle Valley 2013 and it cost $56 million. CPR Article: The beetle kill wood fuel will supply electricity to 10,000 homes. Colorado's first biomass plant will make energy from beetle-killed trees. The $56 million facility in Gysum, Colo., begins delivering electricity for the first time today. - See more at: The plant should generate electricity for 10,000 homes, according to Del Worley, CEO of the utility that will buy the power, Holy Cross Energy. - See more at:

6 Biomass activity in the Northeast US is strong
What’s Happening? Biomass activity in the Northeast US is strong Wood Stove Decathlon Alliance for Green Heat hosted the first ever Wood Stove Decathlon on the Washington Mall

7 New Regulations EPA released proposed New Source Performance Standards in January, 2014 Would apply to new residential biomass heating systems Final publication in 2015 Push to add thermal to State RPSs (CO, NM, etc.) Pending federal legislation (S and H.R. 2715) would provide tax incentives for homeowners who purchase qualifying high efficiency biomass heating systems

8 Upcoming meetings, conferences and events
2014 Hearth, Patio, Barbecue Expo Exhibition: March 6-8, 2014 | Education: March 5-8, | Salt Palace Convention Center | Salt Lake City, Ut Northeast Biomass Heating Expo & Conference April 9-11, 2014 in Portland, ME Mid-Atlantic Biomass Heat & Power Conference April 23-24, 2014, Wyndham Gateway Gettysburg Campus, Gettysburg, PA

9 Biomass-energy Projects
Model Neighborhood Project Subsidizing the cost to transition from oil heating systems to advanced wood pellet boilers for homeowners in Berlin, NH, and Farmington and Wilton, Maine The Wood to Energy Project Two primary objectives: Provide a complete literature review on the state of the science Develop database of wood-to-energy related industries in the US and Canada

10 Installed Systems Data Tracking Site
Northern Maine Community College/MFS Provides a list of 24 biomass projects in Maine, as well as capital and fuel costs and savings.

11 Useful sites and links USFS Woody Biomass Utilization Site
The Woody Biomass Utilization Team is an interdisciplinary team that promotes and facilitates the planning and delivery of an integrated, interdisciplinary approach to the recovery and utilization of woody biomass from ecological restoration and hazardous fuels reduction work. Biomass Energy Resource Center BERC assists communities, colleges and universities, state and local governments, businesses, utilities, schools, and others in making the most of their local biomass energy resources. Biomass Thermal Energy Council BTEC is an association of biomass fuel producers, appliance manufacturers and distributors, supply chain companies and non-profit organizations that view biomass thermal energy as a renewable, responsible, clean and energy-efficient pathway to meeting America’s energy needs. BTEC engages in research, education, and public advocacy for the fast growing biomass thermal energy industry. Pellet Fuels Institute The Pellet Fuels Institute is a non-profit association that serves the pellet industry. Renewable Heat NY New York to Launch Biomass Heating Initiative

12 Biomass Energy Biomass heating is a form of renewable energy generation Considered carbon-neutral in the near-term It is a base-load (dispatchable) source of power and heat Intermediate products include pellets and torrefied biomass Industrial boilers can produce 100 to 10,000 boiler horse power (BHP) for: Steam Hot water Thermal oil Hot gas production The advantages to Biomass Energy are numerous. It is renewable, carbon neutral and a dispatchable source of power and building heat. Source: NREL/PIX 16161

13 Reliability and cost of biomass supply is critical
Biomass for Community Reliability and cost of biomass supply is critical Residential and Commercial are proven technologies New, highly-efficient technologies making headway in U.S. and around the world This is a photo of a Biomass Heat Exchanger at a warehouse. Biomass works best where competing fuel prices are high. For many installations in the US and around the world, facility heating capital costs are higher than for oil or gas HVAC systems, so savings must achieved from the decreased biofuel costs. Biomass Heat Exchanger NREL/PIX 03447

14 Types of Biomass Heating Equipment
Residential stoves or boilers use chips, pellets, or logs Commercial or institutional heating boilers Industrial Biomass has residential, commercial or industrial applications. Biomass pellet stoves or fireplace inserts are considered a renewable technology. The top right photo shows a residential boiler and the ease of burning pellets over wood. The machines burn very clean as well. Commercial heating boilers can provide buildings with 100% heating needs during peak fuel production. Industrial boilers can be used in manufacturing where steam, hot water, thermal oil or hot gas is required. The lower right shows an old coal-fired plant that was converted to a biomass plant that clean burns oat-hulls. Some utilities are interested in biomass heat and power, particularly in states with renewable portfolio requirements. NREL/PIX 06656 NREL/PIX 19255

15 State Biomass Policy Renewable Portfolio Standards:
30 states have enacted a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) within which some kind of biomass is eligible. Mostly electric power, but some states include thermal As with biofuels, many biopower incentives have been passed on a state level to encourage biopower production For information on your state: An RPS is a requirement that mandates a certain percentage of a utility's overall energy capacity or energy sales be derived from renewable resources. Some states include biomass for electrical generation, and a few include biomass for heating, but it’s not as common. The DSIRE website (Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy) lists incentives and requirements for each state, plus federal requirements. Biomass is baseload, so some utilities find it to be attractive to pair with wind or solar.

16 Federal Biomass Policy
Relevant Federal Legislation USDA Farm Bill Healthy Forests Act (HFRA) U.S. Energy Initiative National Energy Policy Act of This slide shows some Biomass policy resources: The “Healthy Forests Act or the HFRA “ helps rural communities, States, Tribes, and landowners restore healthy forest and rangeland conditions on their lands.” “The National Energy Policy ACT of 2005 “ offers Renewable requirements for government buildings.

17 Biomass Success at Coast Guard Station in Kodiak, AK
Wood pellets in Coast Guard boilers are used in place of expensive fuel oil Source of pellets: wood waste and second-growth trees from Tongass National Forest Benefits Reduce fuel costs Improve operations and resiliency Support energy independence Foster environmental stewardship This example is an NREL project in 2010 for the Kodiak Coast Guard Station. This project worked beautifully and replaced the use of fuel oil at $4/gal. Trouble shooting the fuel source should be one of the early steps in choosing biomass. In this case Kodiak Island has lots of trees, but no collection, processing or delivery infrastructure for pellets. But they could receive pellets from the state of Washington or Canada. After this system is in place, the demand could lead to development of a local pellet supply, which could spur additional pellet users and start an industry in or near Kodiak. Pellet industry planning requires responsible forestry. The pine beetle kill forests provide excellent fuel utilizing the resources from the unfortunate deforestation in the Western United States. Source: The U.S. Department of Homeland Security

18 Levelized Cost of Energy for Biomass
The LCOE of biomass-fired power plants ranges from $0.06 to $0.29/kWh Dependent on capital costs and feedstock costs, where low-cost feed-stocks are available Dependent on capital costs. If modest, biomass can be a very competitive power generation option Depending where low-cost agricultural or forestry residues and wastes are available, biomass can often compete with conventional power sources, even where feed stocks are more expensive Even with a large LCOE range, biomass is still more competitive than diesel-fired generation, making biomass an ideal solution for off-grid or mini-grid electricity supply The LCOE of biomass-fired power plants range from 6 cents to 29 cents per kWh. The range is wide because costs vary and are dependent on capital building costs, available feedstock and existing conventional power sources. If capital costs are modest, biomass can be a VERY competitive power generation option. Feedstock costs depend on low-cost agricultural and forestry residues, and if wastes are available. Biomass can often compete with conventional power sources, even where feed stocks are more expensive. So , even with this wide LCOE range, biomass is still more competitive than diesel-fired generation, making it an ideal solution for an off-grid or mini-grid electricity supply Source: The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA)

19 Emissions Air emissions from a biomass system depend on: System design
Fuel characteristics Operation and maintenance factors This table shows typical emissions for a biomass heating system (based on Chiptec gasifier data) operating on 40% moisture content pine (lb/green ton) Biomass systems burn very cleanly. The table in the slide shows a carbon dioxide emission of 1.7 pounds of carbon for every ton of biomass burned. Due to an average 40% moisture content in wood, emissions may appear heavy but visible steam is apparent. Compared to other disposal methods for this material such as wildfire or controlled burn, emissions from controlled heat and power biomass combustion is a compelling efficiency rate of 90 to 95%. Constituent PM10 NOx VOC CO Typical biomass system emissions [lb/green ton burned] 2.1 2.8 0.6 1.7

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