Marysville Wood-to-Energy Power Plant
Earth Systems conducted a feasibility study on a wood-to-energy power plant with a capacity of 1 MW (electrical) for one of the bushfire affected regions (Marysville Triangle Region, Victoria) as part of the region’s reconstruction program. In the study, fire-damaged timber was considered as the main fuel source for the power plant for the first few years of operation. Other sources of woody biomass (e.g. fuel wood crops from farm forestry, road side clearing waste and plantation thinnings) were considered in the study as potential fuel source in the longer term.
Several possible technologies were considered for this project, including gasification, combustion, and co- or tri-generation. Each option had its own advantages and disadvantages with respect to project context. Key considerations focused on:
- Feedstock requirements (e.g. shape, size, moisture and ash content)
- Plant capacity (and an assessment of potential local energy demand)
- Maintenance and labour intensity
- Waste heat utilisation
- Financial analysis
- Stakeholders’ support (including local community, government and private sector parties)
After analysing all the possible options against the key criteria, the conversion technology selected in the study was a combustion system incorporating Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) technology for the production of both electricity and heat, which could be supplied to a co-located heat-using industry, or potentially distributed around the region (i.e. for district heating).
The study involved extensive research on wood-to-energy power plants and technology providers, including site visits to several plants in Europe. The study also incorporated an assessment of several site options, estimates on GHG emission benefits and a preliminary financial analysis of the project.
5MW Biomass Power Plant in Fiji
Earth Systems recently conducted a pre-feasibility study for a 5MW biomass power plant in Fiji. The plant is to utilise wood residues from a number of renewable sources as well as utilise biomass waste from a number of industries.
The objectives of the study where to:
- Assess the technology requirements and feasibility;
- Identify potential suppliers of the equipment;
- Determine the feedstock characteristics and requirements;
- Conduct a financial assessment; and
- Outline the environmental, social and economic impacts.
The study concluded that the most appropriate technology was a standard steam turbine system due mainly to the local capacity to operate and maintain the equipment.