Arizona utility Salt River Project signs one-year agreement to buy up to 13 MW from Najafi-owned Snowflake Power biomass power plant in Navajo County, Arizona
October 12, 2011
– Renewable energy is generated from wood-burning facility near Snowflake
SRP has signed a one-year agreement to purchase up to 13 megawatts of energy generated from the Snowflake Power LLC., a biomass power plant located in the White Mountains of Navajo County in northern Arizona.
The Snowflake plant, owned and operated by Snowflake Holdings, LLC, a portfolio investment of the Najafi Companies, generates electricity through a wood-burning boiler using forest thinning (wood-waste material from the area's forest industries) and waste recycled paper fibers from an existing newsprint paper mill located adjacent to the biomass facility.
The amount of energy being purchased from the plant by SRP is about enough to serve approximately 6,800 average residential homes in the Phoenix area.
"This unique renewable-energy power plant will not only contribute to SRP's sustainable energy goals, but also responds to the state's Healthy Forest Initiative," said John Sullivan, SRP's associate general manager of Resource Management.
At least 60% of the energy produced for SRP by the Snowflake plant will be generated from fuel resulting from forest-thinning efforts occurring on U.S., Arizona, municipal and privately owned forest lands surrounding the communities of Arizona's White Mountains. The thinning efforts help protect forest lands against catastrophic fires - such as the recent Wallow Fire - by focusing on responsible clearing of dense undergrowth and brush in critical areas adjacent to private homes and property.
The remaining energy produced by the plant will be generated from other biomass products including unusable, recycled paper fibers generated by the Catalyst Paper Inc. Snowflake mill. The mill produces, on average, 200 bone dry tons of unusable paper fiber each day for consumption at the biomass plant. Prior to being consumed by the Snowflake biomass plant for the production of electricity, the mill's waste material was landfilled at a Catalyst disposal site.
The SRP Board has set a goal to meet 20 percent of SRP's retail electricity requirements through sustainable resources by the year 2020.
SRP is the third-largest public power utility in the nation, serving nearly 950,000 electric customers in the greater Phoenix metropolitan area.