Efficient energy conversion of a wide range of biomass in Nagocdoches, USA

Dec 14, 2012

The Nacogdoches Generating Facility in Sacul, Texas was awarded the 2012 Project of the Year in the Biomass category by Power Engineering Magazine at the Power-Gen international conference on December 10,2012 in Orlando, FL.

The Nacogdoches Project represents a Valmet*)-supplied boiler island with the world’s largest BFB Boiler. The project also included Metso Automation Flow Control Devices and a Metso DNA plant-wide distributed control system.

The boiler features efficient energy conversion of a wide range of biomass. Thanks to the advanced technology of the boiler island the Nacogdoches Generating Facility is prepared to deliver electricity whenever needed.

Dave King, Area President, North America, Pulp and Energy business line, Valmet, explains that “the Nacogdoches project is a success since it plays a key role in preparing the City of Austin to meet its goals for sustainable power generation. Furthermore, this project would never have been possible if not for the excellent track record of Valmet's existing global BFB base, and the ability to design a utility-grade biomass boiler capable of low emissions and high availability."

Tight with fuel consumption, generous with energy

This boiler is the largest Valmet BFB Boiler (HYBEX at the time) in service, designed to produce 930,000 lbs/hr (117 kg/s) of steam and generate 100 megawatts of renewable electrical power. The entire boiler island, including air pollution control equipment and the plant-wide controls, was provided and erected by Valmet under an EPC contract.

Clean and environmentally responsible power

The 100 MW capacity of the largest BFB biomass power plant in the United States can generate enough power to supply approximately 60,000 homes with electricity. The plant was built to serve a 20-year contract with Austin Energy to help meet the state’s renewable portfolio standard, with the output serving the City of Austin.

The plant is fuelled entirely by non-merchantable wood biomass materials, with a base load renewable energy option that helps strengthen the nation’s energy security. Abundant fuel supply in the proximity of the plant enables wood waste recycling from the local timber operations, manufacturing facilities, and municipalities. All of the fuel needed can be procured within a 75-mile radius.

During construction, extreme drought put the water supply for the facility, the Angelina River, in jeopardy – the river became completely dry and was deemed unreliable to supply the facility. Developers constructed a 10-mile water line to a nearby lake that now provides ample water to supply plant operations.

Nacogdoches has made a significant impact in the surrounding towns. During construction, more than 100 vendor contracts for services and maintenance were established, as well as 25 fuel supply contracts. The facility allowed for more than 1,000 construction jobs, which was a boost for the local economy in the 200-resident town of Sacul. The facility is also set to employ 40 full-time workers.

Each year, projects from around the world are honoured during POWER-GEN International’s Projects of the Year awards gala, with many different award categories. Nacogdoches Generating Facility won the best biomass project of the year, and chosen as runner-up project was an anaerobic digester facility at the Nocton Fen Farm in the UK, developed by Cummins Power Generation.

For further information, please contact:

Dave King, Area President, Power, North America, Valmet Tel: +17 049 680 521

*) Until Dec. 31, 2013, part of Metso Corporation.