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Industry News

Allegheny Energy Plant to Burn Sawdust and Tires

LCG, Oct. 20, 2000--Allegheny Energy Supply, the unregulated generating subsidiary of Allegheny Energy Inc., dedicated a couple of projects in West Virginia yesterday and got the governor to come and make a speech.

One of the projects, made possible by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, is to adapt the 188 megawatt Unit 2 of its Willow Island power plant so it can burn sawdust and fuel derived from old tires along with coal.

That, apparently, will qualify Willow Island Unit 2 as a renewable source of power. People are renewing their tires every day -- especially owners of Ford Explorers -- and saws are making dust out of trees all the time. Trees, of course, are renewable.

The other project is at the 1,368 megawatt Pleasants power plant, also in Willow Island, of which Allegheny owns 25 percent. The company dedicated a facility that makes gypsum out of the glop its scrubbers get out of the power plant's smokestack scrubbers. The gypsum can be used for making drywall.

West Virginia Gov. Cecil Underwood was impressed. "Allegheny Energy Supply is to be commended for its high standards of environmental stewardship and its exemplary efforts as a good corporate citizen," the governor said.

"With creative environmental initiatives such as the biomass co-firing project and the gypsum processing plant, coal combustion by-products and wood waste are being used in ways that improve and enhance the environment in which we live and work," he continued. "These are the very types of projects which this administration has been promoting to enable us to continue using West Virginia coal in an economical and environmentally sound manner."

Peter J. Skrgic, Allegheny Energy Supply's president, said the projects are examples of the company's steadfast commitment to the region's economy. "Both allow us to use one of the region's most precious natural resources - coal - to generate electricity, while enhancing the environment in which we live."

The biomass project is part of the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Biomass Cofiring Program, managed by the National Energy Technology Laboratory. It will combine 80 percent coal with 10 percent biomass and 10 percent TDF. The output will meet Renewable PortfolioStandards.

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