Florida Develops Renewable Fuel Sources
Source: Miami Herald
(12/30/07) P. E1; Swartz, Kristi E.
Posted on: 01/02/2008
Some people believe biomass--plant material, vegetation, or
agricultural waste--will someday become an important energy source
in Florida . The state's Agriculture Commissioner Charles Bronson
says Florida should grow at least 30 percent of its yearly fuel
However, he wants farmers to grow their staple fruits and
vegetables first before planting any additional biomass crops. In
December, President Bush signed the Energy Independence and Security
Act, which mandates the use of 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels
That amount is about fivefold the level currently consumed, the
White House says. To this end, five ethanol plants have been planned
statewide, of which only one would rely on corn. The remainder would
manufacture the fuel using plant wastes, including a planned FPL
Energy plant that would burn citrus peels.
Progress Energy Florida and Biomass Gas and Electric intend to
construct a 75 Mw wood-waste plant in Liberty County that would
power 50,000 homes. Progress has also agreed to purchase power from
Biomass Investment Group (BIG), which plans to build an
E-grass-fired power plant. BIG plans to grow E-grass on 20,000
acres. The state also has 11 waste-to-energy plants that combust
trash to create electricity.