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Southern Company Launches Giant Wood Waste Biomass Facility

Energy firm Southern Co. has launched what it is calling the largest biomass facility in the United States, a 100-megawatt unit near Sacul, Texas.

The Atlanta-based power company said in a news release that the Nacogdoches Generating Facility, located on 65 acres in northeast Texas, will be fueled by non-merchantable wood waste. It will create a combination of wood-based biomass fuels from primarily saw mill or other wood mill production waste, forest waste, pre-commercial thinnings of cultivated trees, and diseased and other non-commercial tree species. The facility also could use urban wood waste, tree limbs and branches produced by storms and other non-commercial logging-derived biomass.

Southern said the facility represents an investment of about $500 million. It creates 40 permanent jobs.

The Texas power company Austin Energy is receiving energy from the plant through a 20-year purchase agreement.

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