The Procter & Gamble Company and Constellation, a subsidiary of Exelon Corporation , today announced the development of an up to 50-megawatt biomass plant that will help run one of P&G’s largest U.S. facilities. The plant will significantly increase P&G’s use of renewable energy, helping move the company closer to its 2020 goal of obtaining 30 percent of its total energy from renewable sources.
Constellation will build, own and operate the $200 million cogeneration plant, which will supply steam to P&G’s Albany, Ga., paper manufacturing facility and generate electricity for the local utility, Georgia Power.
For more than 30 years, the Albany facility has successfully used a smaller onsite biomass boiler to convert wood scraps into renewable steam, providing about 30 percent of the total energy. The new facility will replace P&G’s aging boiler with a highly efficient combined heat and power biomass unit. Incoming biomass will provide 100 percent of the steam, and up to 60-70 percent of the total energy used to manufacture Bounty paper towels and Charmin toilet tissue.
“At P&G, we are committed to improving the environmental sustainability of our products across all aspects of their life cycle – from manufacturing, packaging, delivery and consumer use,” said Martin Riant, P&G Executive Sponsor of Sustainability and Group President, Global Baby and Feminine & Family Care. “As this project enables us to operate one of our largest global plants with a renewable energy source, it will reduce the environmental footprint of two leading brands, Bounty and Charmin. We see this as a win for our business, consumers, partners and the environment.”
The facility is Constellation’s newest project in its active and growing distributed energy business, which has more than 300 megawatts of assets in operation or under development.
“Constellation is uniquely positioned to help support Procter & Gamble’s renewable energy goals because of our leadership in both retail energy supply and distributed generation,” said Constellation Senior Vice President of Distributed Energy Gary Fromer. “Increasingly, our customers are looking for comprehensive energy options that enhance operational efficiencies and sustainability. Constellation can deliver innovative, clean energy solutions that drive value for our customers.”
In the initial planning for the facility, P&G and Constellation outlined sustainable “procurement standards” for the project. The plant’s fuel supply will come from biomass that would otherwise have been left to decay, burned, or potentially sent to landfill, including discarded tree tops, limbs, branches and scrap wood from local forestry operations, crop residuals, such as pecan shells and peanut hulls, and mill waste, such as sawdust.
These standards complement P&G’s responsible wood fiber procurement policy for its tissue, towel and absorbent hygiene business, as well as Constellation’s commitment to energy options for customers that benefit the environment.
“We applaud P&G’s efforts to support renewable energy as part of its commitment to sustainability and for prioritizing responsible sourcing of inputs as an essential element of the project,” said Suzanne Apple, SVP, Private Sector Engagement at World Wildlife Fund. WWF and P&G have been working together for over four years on sustainable business practices, including the company’s emissions reductions and renewable energy.
Georgia Power’s purchase of energy from Constellation, at or below Georgia Power’s avoided cost, is part of the company’s multifaceted strategy to encourage and cultivate renewable energy sources in Georgia and was made possible under a program developed in coordination with and approved by the Georgia Public Service Commission. Constellation is currently under contract to sell 42 MW of capacity and energy from the 50 MW facility to Georgia Power.
“We’re committed to working with our customers, including leading Georgia businesses such as Procter & Gamble, to create new avenues for renewable energy innovation,” said Norrie McKenzie, vice president of renewable development for Georgia Power. “The Albany project is a perfect illustration of this continued effort.”
The project also included collaboration with the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority, local city, county and state leaders, including leadership and ongoing support from the Georgia Public Service Commission, as well as energy companies. DCO Energy will hold a minority stake in the project and provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the project. Constellation’s affiliate, Exelon Generation, will operate and maintain the plant. Sterling Energy Assets worked with Constellation to develop the project.
“We are proud to be part of a project that will help shape the sustainable use of biomass energy, and that has such an impact for Procter & Gamble and for Albany, who have a more than 40-year relationship,” said Dorothy Hubbard, Albany Mayor and Chair of the Albany-Dougherty Payroll Development Authority. “This project will strengthen Albany’s Procter & Gamble facility and create jobs and business opportunities for Albany and Southwest Georgia.”
Construction activities have already begun on the site with the plant scheduled to begin commercial operation in June 2017. Construction is expected to create up to 500 new jobs over the next two years, with an additional 50 to 70 permanent local jobs for ongoing operations once the plant is built.
ST Staff Writers
This post was prepared by Solar Thermal Magazine staff.