News & Updates


Plant could fuel work

Biomass facility could create 400 construction jobs

From staff reports

Construction of a 50-megawatt electric power plant fueled by wood waste material is anticipated to begin in 2010 and the project will be commercially operable in 2013, according to ADAGE, a joint venture owned by affiliates of AREVA, a French engineering firm, and Duke Energy Co., one of the largest energy providers in the United States.

The proposed site of its first U.S. biopower plant is in Hamilton County, near Jasper.

The plant has a current estimated cost of $200 million, Hamilton County Coordinator Danny Johnson said.

“They want to build 12 of these plants in the United States and three of those will be in Florida,” Johnson said. “They want to use Hamilton County as a showcase.”

Johnson said he visited a plant that is exactly like the one planned for Hamilton County in Lockerbie, Scotland.

“It is very clean technology,” he said. “I did not see any smoke. All I saw was some steam on a cold day in Scotland. There was no noise. The sound of the cars on the nearby Interstate was more than came from the plant.”

Johnson said the Scottish setting and demographics are similar to Jasper’s setting for the future plant on State Road 6 and Interstate-75.

The company is pleased with its plans for Hamilton County.

“We are pleased to partner with Hamilton County as it considers becoming the first community to host an ADAGE renewable energy facility,” said Reed Wills, ADAGE president.

The ADAGE biopower facility provides a reliable source of electric energy generation for states looking to rapidly increase energy production using renewable fuels, he said.

The facility will create approximately 400 jobs during construction and 25 to 30 full-time jobs to run the plant when it is complete, Johnson said.

The Hamilton County Board of County Commissioners and the Economic Development Authority are supportive and stand ready to assist ADAGE in making this project become a reality, Johnson said.

ADAGE has secured rights to a 215-acre site in Hamilton County and it has submitted applications for state environmental permits, he said.

The company has entered into confidentiality agreements and non-binding letters of intent, and is in exclusive negotiations with JEA, an electric utility serving the Jacksonville area, for the potential purchase of the power from the facility, and The Langdale Co. for the supply of waste wood to the project.

Several steps remain before construction work can commence on the project, including obtaining final permit approvals, entering into binding power purchase and fuel supply agreements, receipt of certain state and local incentives related to the proposed investment and job creation, and consummation of final financing arrangements for the project.

Once completed, the ADAGE facility will provide electricity for approximately 40,000 households.

“This is an important first step for ADAGE as it moves forward with its plan to develop a series of biopower facilities using state-of-the-art technology throughout the United States. These plants can help Americans meet their electricity demand with a local, dependable and renewable energy source,” said Jim Rogers, CEO of Duke Energy.