American Renewables' Gainesville Renewable Energy Center initiates supply agreement with Rayonier to supply logging residue, thinnings and other clean wood fuel for proposed 100-MW biomass plant in Florida

BOSTON, Massachusetts , January 18, 2011 (press release) – The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) has initiated a fuel supply relationship with Rayonier, a leading international forest products company, to supply logging residue, pre-commercial thinnings and other clean, renewable wood fuel for the proposed 100-megawatt biomass plant in Gainesville, Florida.

“We look forward to working with Rayonier,” said Josh Levine, project manager for the GREC project. “The use of biomass fuels promotes sustainable forest management practices which will help ensure local and regional forest health in the future.

Biomass plants like GREC also stimulate the local economy by creating a market for harvest residues and trimmings which would have been open-burned or left in the forest,” said Levine.

Lynn Wilson, Rayonier’s vice president, U.S. Forest Resources, added, “Rayonier believes projects like GREC are an important part of America’s energy future and we hope to be a strategic part of this project’s success.”

“This relationship further demonstrates the readily available and sustainable supply of forest-derived materials for the new plant,” said Richard Schroeder, president and founder of Gainesville-based BioResource Management, whose company is assisting GREC in securing fuel contracts. “Understanding the importance of maintaining a healthy forest, GREC will comply with the Florida Division of Forestry Best Management Practices, and has agreed to additional standards to foster improved nutrient retention and overall forest health,” he added.

American Renewables will build, own and operate the GREC facility and will sell all electricity and environmental attributes generated from the facility to Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU), the municipally-owned utility that serves the Gainesville community, under a 30-year power purchase agreement. The biomass plant will use a variety of clean, renewable biomass materials, including forestry residues and other wood processing residue, urban wood residue, and other wood waste. American Renewables also recently announced a supply relationship with a leading provider of urban wood waste which will provide the facility with nearly half its fuel needs. By producing energy from local sources, GREC will create local jobs, keep energy dollars in the area’s economy, and reduce reliance on imported coal.

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center has received all necessary construction permits and governmental approvals and intends to begin construction in the next month.

The facility will be operational by December 2013.

About American Renewables, LLC

American Renewables (www.amrenewables.com) is the premier U.S. developer of biomass power facilities. In addition to the Gainesville Renewable Energy Center, American Renewables developed, and sold to Southern Power, the nearly identical Nacogdoches Power project in Sacul, TX. This facility began construction in November 2009 and is scheduled to begin operation in late 2012. American Renewables is also developing a number of other biomass projects in the Southeast.

About Rayonier

Rayonier is a leading international forest products company with three core businesses: Timber, Real Estate and Performance Fibers. The company owns, leases or manages 2.4 million acres of timber and land in the United States and New Zealand. The company’s holdings include approximately 200,000 acres with residential and commercial development potential along the Interstate 95 corridor between Savannah, GA, and Daytona Beach, FL. Its Performance Fibers business is one of the world’s leading producers of high-value specialty cellulose fibers. Approximately 45 percent of the company’s sales are outside the U.S. to customers in approximately 40 countries. Rayonier is structured as a real estate investment trust. More information is available at www.rayonier.com.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.