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VIEWS: 14 PAGES: 5

									                        STATE OF CONNECTICUT


                   DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC UTILITY CONTROL
                          TEN FRANKLIN SQUARE
                          NEW BRITAIN, CT 06051



DOCKET NO. 06-08-16       APPLICATION OF ECOPOWER & LAIDLAW ENERGY
                          GROUP FOR QUALIFICATION OF ALEXANDRIA
                          BIOMASS POWER PLANT AS A CLASS I RENEWABLE
                          FACILITY




                                   August 23, 2006

                           By the following Commissioners:


                                  Anthony J. Palermino
                                  Anne C. George
                                  Jack R. Goldberg




                                 DRAFT DECISION




I.    INTRODUCTION

A.    BACKGROUND OF THE PROCEEDING

         By Letter dated August 10, 2006 (Petition), pursuant to the General Statutes of
Connecticut (Conn. Gen. Stat.) §§ 4-176 and 16-243a, EcoPower, LLC & Laidlaw
Energy Group, Inc. (collectively EL or Petitioner), acting in its capacity as authorized
agent for Indeck-Alexandria, LLC, the facility’s current owner, requests that the
Department of Public Utility Control (Department) issue a Declaratory Ruling that the
proposed re-commissioning of a 16.3 MW biomass fueled power project (Alexandria or
facility) located in Alexandria, NH would qualify as a Class I renewable energy source
as defined in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26).
Docket No. 06-08-16                                                             Page 2


B.    CONDUCT OF THE PROCEEDING

      A hearing in this matter is not required; none of the Parties requested a hearing
and none was held.

C.    PARTIES

       The Department recognized Laidlaw Energy Group, Inc., 90 John Street, 4 th Fl.,
New York, NY 10038; The Connecticut Light and Power Company (CL&P), P.O. Box
270, Hartford, Connecticut 06141-0270; The United Illuminating Company (UI), 157
Church Street, P.O. Box 1564, New Haven, Connecticut 06506-0901; and the Office of
Consumer Counsel (OCC), Ten Franklin Square, New Britain, Connecticut 06051, as
Parties to this proceeding.

D.    STATUTORY REQUIREMENTS

      Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26), defines a Class I renewable energy source as:

             (A) energy derived from solar power; wind power; a fuel cell;
             methane gas from landfills; ocean thermal power; wave or
             tidal power; low emission advanced renewable energy
             conversion technologies; a run-of-the-river hydropower
             facility provided such facility has a generating capacity of not
             more than five megawatts, does not cause an appreciable
             change in the river flow, and began operation after July 1,
             2003, or a biomass facility, including, but not limited to, a
             biomass gasification plant that utilizes land clearing debris,
             tree stumps or other biomass that regenerates or the use of
             which will not result in a depletion of resources, provided
             such biomass is cultivated and harvested in a sustainable
             manner and the average emission rate for such facility is
             equal to or less than .075 pounds of nitrogen oxides per
             million BTU of heat input for the previous calendar quarter,
             except that energy derived from a biomass facility with a
             capacity of less than five hundred kilowatts that began
             construction before July 1, 2003, may be considered a Class
             I renewable energy source, provided such biomass is
             cultivated and harvested in a sustainable manner; or (B) any
             electrical generation, including distributed generation,
             generated from a Class I renewable energy source.

II.   PETITIONER’S EVIDENCE

A.    HISTORY

       Alexandria, located in central NH at 1512 Smith River Road in Alexandria, NH,
consists of a 1986 Zurn boiler coupled to a 16 MW General Electric turbine generator
that burns 600 tons of wood residues daily. The facility was commissioned into
commercial operation in 1987. The electric output of the plant was initially purchased
Docket No. 06-08-16                                                                Page 3


by Public Service of New Hampshire (PSNH) pursuant to the terms of a New Hampshire
Public Utility Commission Rate Order. In 1994, the remaining term of the Rate Order
was bought out by PSNH and the plant was decommissioned. The current owners
acquired the physical assets of the plant in 1998.

       Alexandria was originally designed and configured with a “traveling” grate which
consists of a series of sections that are linked and move slowly, timed to correspond to
the destructive distillation of the fuel, from initial drying through volatilization and gas
release to carbon burnout and ash drop. The moving bed is designed to maintain a
stable fuel level. Its three levels of air distribution causes an efficient “staged
combustion” effect that reduces undergrate air that creates and supports the low level
release and higher level combustion of volatile gases. Petition, pp. 1 and 2.

B.     THE PROPOSED PROJECT

         The proposed project consists of re-commissioning the existing facility with the
addition of new computerized operator interface systems and advanced controls for all
combustion processes. The new system will allow exact tuning of the overfire air
system (OFA) to maximize combustion efficiency and minimize NOx creation.
Additionally, Alexandria will install a new regenerative selective catalytic reduction
system (RSCR) to reduce NOx and CO emissions. Together, the improved OFA control
systems and the RSCR technology will produce a facility capable of high efficiency and
reliability, and low emissions. Id, p. 2.

       1.     Air Emissions

       Alexandria will be required to obtain a new State of New Hampshire air license
That will include specific limits for NOx, CO, SO2, VOCs and particulate matter at a
minimum. After the installation of the new controls and RSCR equipment, Alexandria
will be able to meet the low quarterly average NOx emission limit of 0.075 lbs/MMBTU
required for Class I REC sales in Connecticut. The RSCR technology removes NOx
from flue gas using a catalytic reduction process in which a reagent is added to the flue
gas stream to reduce NOx to harmless products, typically N2 and water. Id., p. 3.

       2.     Biomass Fuel

       The re-commissioned Alexandria plant will adhere to use of biomass fuels which
qualify under the Connecticut RPS requirements at all times in which RECs are sold into
the Connecticut market. The State of New Hampshire (NH) does not presently allow
the use of urban wood waste (construction & demolition waste) at biomass plants within
the state, and Alexandria will not seek permission from NH to utilize this material at its
re-commissioned plant. Only clean wood, represented primarily by sawdust, bark, and
whole tree chips will be utilized. Any alternative sources of wood fuel will conform to the
requirements of Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26) and will be sourced from “land clearing
debris, tree stumps, or other biomass that regenerates or the use of which will not result
in a depletion of resources, provided such biomass is cultivated and harvested in a
sustainable manner.” It is anticipated that most of the fuel for the plant will originate
from within a 100-mile radius of Alexandria. Id., p. 3.
Docket No. 06-08-16                                                               Page 4


III.   DEPARTMENT ANALYSIS

         Based on the Petitioner’s assertions and the examples of eligible biomass
contained within Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26), the Department agrees with the
Petitioner that a fuel supply consisting of forest residue and mill waste would meet the
requirements for Class I status that fuel supplies be cultivated and harvested in a
sustainable manner. Conn. Gen. Stat. § 16-1(a)(26) such that Class I eligible biomass
facilities must clearly meet the emissions criteria on a quarterly basis to be classified
as a Class I renewable resource. The Petitioner’s proposed generation unit has not
yet yielded any actual emissions data and therefore, the emissions associated with the
proposed generating unit are unknown at this time.

        The Department has created an electronic application process for generation
owners to apply for a Connecticut Renewable Portfolio Standards registration. The
application      is       available    on      the       Department’s    website   @
http://www.dpuc.state.ct.us/CTRPSGeneratorApplication.nsf.  The application should be
submitted electronically along with a single hard-copy filing. While the Department
concludes in this Decision that the Alexandria facility would qualify as a Class I
renewable energy source pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. 16-1(a)(26) if it meets the
emission requirements, the Petitioner must still apply for registration in the
aforementioned system once operational and registered in the New England Generation
Information System.

IV.       CONCLUSION

       Based upon the project as described herein, the Department finds that, as
proposed, the fuel source would qualify as a Class I renewable energy source.
However, with the statutory emissions requirements, the Department cannot determine
at this time that the proposed unit would have its application approved without
production data and/or appropriate valid air permits demonstrating compliance with the
emissions requirements. If in the first quarter of operation the proposed Alexandria
Biomass facility meets the statutory emission rate, which is equal to or less than .075
pounds of NOx per million BTU of heat input, the petitioner should apply for a Class I
registration at that time.
DOCKET NO. 06-08-16      APPLICATION OF ECOPOWER & LAIDLAW ENERGY
                         GROUP FOR QUALIFICATION OF ALEXANDRIA
                         BIOMASS POWER PLANT AS A CLASS I RENEWABLE
                         FACILITY

This Decision is adopted by the following Commissioners:




                   Anthony J. Palermino


                   Anne C. George


                   Jack R. Goldberg




                            CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE

        The foregoing is a true and correct copy of the Decision issued by the
Department of Public Utility Control, State of Connecticut, and was forwarded by
Certified Mail to all parties of record in this proceeding on the date indicated.




                         Louise E. Rickard                      Date
                         Acting Executive Secretary
                         Department of Public Utility Control

								
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