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Upson getting its own biomass plant

Not to be outdone by Lamar and its Piedmont Green Power plant, Upson County is getting its own, albeit smaller, biomass generation facility. The Upson facility will sell electricty to multiple EMCs but not Southern Rivers Energy. The official news release on the Upson facility follows: On September 14, 2010 Cooperative Energy Incorporated (CEI) signed a 10 year power purchase agreement (PPA) for 15 megawatts of green energy from Lancaster Energy Partners’ proposed biomass power generation facility in Thomaston, Georgia. The wood fueled generation facility is expected to be operational in early 2012 and will produce enough electricity to power approximately 10,000 homes. ‘We are excited about partnering with CEI and Upson EMC to bring green power to Georgia’ said Wayne Coverdale, President & CEO of Lancaster Energy Partners. Mr. Coverdale stated that the facility will be located on the grounds of the former Thomaston Mills textile plant and will create approximately 20 permanent jobs at the plant. The facility will also foster the creation of additional jobs necessary to supply local, woody biomass needed to fuel the facility. CEI is comprised of seven Electric Membership Corporations (EMCs): Central Georgia EMC, Cobb EMC, Excelsior EMC, Pataula EMC, Snapping Shoals EMC, Upson EMC and Washington EMC. Neal Trice, President & CEO of Upson EMC in Thomaston stated, ‘Upson EMC fully supports this project and is very excited about the job creation opportunities this project will bring to Upson County.’ Cobb EMC is the largest off-taker of energy from the proposed facility and their President & CEO, Dwight Brown, had these comments,’ At Cobb, we believe in having a diverse, economical energy mix and this renewable project meets our criteria. This project is a ‘win’ for Cobb EMC and a ‘win’ for Georgians.’ Energy Consulting Group (ECG) managed the negotiations of the PPA for CEI and will manage the contract going forward. ECG is a full service energy consulting firm based in Atlanta, Georgia. Robert Tucker of ECG had the following comments, ‘ECG has reviewed dozens of renewable energy proposals for our clients and the Lancaster-Thomaston project appears to have the right formula for success. Economical fuel supply is the key issue for biomass projects and this project is sized appropriately for the wood basket of the local area.’

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