Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

NYSERDA releases guide to developing renewable and sustainable biomass energy projects

NYSERDA today released a guidebook to faciltate biomass projects that will help the State meet its clean energy and environmental goals.  The guidebook was produced in conjunction with the Pace Energy and Climate Center to help with siting small-scale biomass-to-electricity projects in the state.

The guidebook focuses on three biomass technologies: 
  • Anaerobic digester gas-to-electricity (ADG), a proven technology that is helping dairy farmers, wastewater treatment plants, and the food industry reduce operating costs, cut greenhouse gas emissions, and mitigate odors by converting gases that are produced from organic waste into electricity.
  • Biomass combustion technology, which uses biomass as a fuel source for generating electricity, either by itself or in conjunction with fossil fuels. 
  • Biomass gasification transforms solid biomass into a combustible gas to generate electricity in a way that significantly increases efficiency and dramatically decreases emissions.
Large utility-scale versions of biomass combustion technologies are currently deployed at five facilities in Upstate New York:  Niagara Generating Facility (Niagara County); AES Greenidge, LLC (Yates County); Boralex Chateaugay Biomass Plant (Franklin County); Lyonsdale Biomass (Lewis County); and Onondaga Renewables LLC (Ononodaga County), which is the first direct combustion biomass facility in the state. These facilities are expected to deliver nearly 760,000 megawatt hours -- enough renewable energy to supply approximately 112,000 average homes with electricity.

NYSERDA has been working to increase the use of highly efficient gasification units and also recently invested in three companies to manufacture these products in Upstate New York: Alternative Fuel Boilers (Dunkirk), $555,000; Advanced Climate Technologies (ACT) (Schenectady), $642,000; and Thermocontrol Systems (Cobleskill), $258,000.

For all three biomass technologies, the Guidebook underscores the importance of incorporating combined heat and power (CHP) technologies to make biomass projects more efficient and economically viable. The Guidebook is available on NYSERDA’s renewables website,