"...Wouldn't you know it. Nearly four years after the Austin City Council unanimously approved a $2.3 billion deal to build a biomass plant in East Texas, the contentious issue has again reared its head – emerging this time in the midst of a council election season and an electric rate case..."
"...Austin Energy thinks the time for biomass is now. City Council this week is set to vote on a 20-year, $2.3 billion contract to help construct and buy 100 megawatts of energy from a waste-wood-fueled power plant located outside Nacogdoches in East Texas..."
"...City Council is expected today (Thursday) to approve a $2.3 billion contract with Nacogdoches Power LLC to provide Austin with 20 years' worth of power (beginning in 2012) from its planned 100-megawatt biomass plant fueled with waste wood and logging debris. Council postponed a decision last week in order to seek outside legal advice..."
"...But the two recent issues that have loomed largest – politically and financially – were the controversial Austin Energy biomass plant and the fiscal year 2008-09 budget...."
"...If you drink soda, you are consuming corn. If you eat animals, there is probably corn – a lot of corn – in their biomass..."
"...Big news for Formula One and its environmental impact: As of 2012, teams can use biomass-derived fuels, but the big change comes in 2013 with the introduction of hybrid engines...."
"...In his press release announcing his seat at the big table, Wynn touts big pushes in Texas towards Big Renewable, like the decision to sink $5 billion into transmission lines to West Texas, and large biomass plants...."
"...Now, Duncan and AE are asking for the community's input, help, and attention in deciding on the mix of energy sources that Austin will use between now and 2020. How much solar, wind, and biomass; how much gas and coal and nuclear? While most people like the idea of renewable energy, they're unaware of the near-term rate increases that could entail..."
"...I do want to also address the biomass plant [which council approved in August 2008]. I think there are potentially very serious problems with the biomass plant..."
"...1) Biomass: Got Wood? In August, Austin Energy sought to push through council a 20-year, $2.3 billion deal for a waste-wood-burning power plant. The Nacogdoches-area plant would provide about 75,000 homes with constant "carbon-neutral" energy..."
"...The event (this one was held Aug. 29) is a traditional drawing card for political candidates and friends of labor. Enviros Frown on Biomass Plant..."
"...When asked about climate change (which garnered audible chuckles from the audience), Zimmerman – who once chased a respected climate scientist from Council chambers – slammed Austin Energy’s East Texas biomass power plant as akin to an “Enron scam” and a “boondoggle.” He described climate change as a mere “propaganda” tactic to scare voters. “The sun warms the Earth, not carbon dioxide..."
"...LL: Well, I think that since we're talking about Austin Energy, certainly, the biomass plant is a decision I would love to have the opportunity to revisit...."
"...Three-fourths of Austin's curbside miles lack sidewalks. No one in power ever mentions finishing the sidewalk system. Why do our leaders insist on building rail systems before building the sidewalks necessary to make public transit work? Why can we afford much more costly biomass plants, dysfunctional rail lines, race-car tracks, and highways, but never a complete sidewalk system? A fellow pedestrian says it's because the officials entrusted with city infrastructure are interested mainly in padding their résumés..."
"...EUC Commissioner Barbara Day had also requested an explanation of why the utility would raise ratepayers' monthly fuel charge at a time when natural gas prices are at a 10-year low. But staff's general explanation – last summer's heat, outages at Fayette Power Plant and South Texas Project, and the inclusion of the Webberville solar project and the East Texas biomass plant, which is expected to go online later this year – left many observers with more questions than answers: What were the costs associated with the outages? How much money was lost on fuel-hedging contracts? How much is the biomass plant really costing taxpayers? And finally, why is there no oversight of the utility's fuel charge increases?..."
"...Cool: Current renewable contracts (wind, biomass, solar) "on track" for 30% goal; solar rooftop program at 3.6 MW (2009)...."
"...AE has been working for more than a year to establish the ideal mix of solar, wind, biomass, coal, natural gas, and nuclear power – known as the 2020 Generation Plan – to provide most of Austin's electricity for the next decade. In August, AE made a proposal to City Council that surpasses many of the expectations of the Austin Climate Protection Plan, in part by ramping down use of Fayette by about a third (while "setting the stage for eventual sale or other disposition of Austin's share")..."
"...The towns are connected to district/community heating systems that provide both hot water and heating for about 75% of the island's 2,500 pretty, traditional older homes. (There's no industry or business to speak of.) There's a solar farm that provides heating and a biomass furnace that burns woodchips from Brattingsborg Woods..."
"...The towns are connected to district/community heating systems that provide both hot water and heating for about 75% of the island’s 2500 pretty, traditional older homes. (There’s no industry or business to speak of.) There’s a solar farm that provides heating, and a biomass furnace that burns woodchips from Brattingsborg Woods..."
"...This morning, Strayhorn appeared outside of Brackenridge Hospital downtown to announce her call for a medical school. Flanked by supporters in the education and biotech realms, she promised “healthcare over headlines, biotech over biomass, and people over politics.” (As the race’s budget hawk, she’s trained her ire on the cost of Austin’s nascent renewables like biomass and the recently-approved solar array.)..."