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Duke Energy renews PPA with biomass energy producer in North Carolina

Published 01 February 2018

Duke Energy has renewed a long-term power purchase agreement with Craven County Wood Energy (CCWE), a 50MW biomass facility in North Carolina.

CCWE in New Bern is a 24-hour-a-day baseload plant that supplies enough power annually to satisfy the energy needs of more than 30,000 homes for a year.

The facility uses mainly wood waste and poultry (turkey) waste to generate electricity. Throughout its 25 years of operation, the facility has been upgraded to use more poultry waste – going from 10% to 25% currently. It has plans to go as high as 30%.

Duke Energy renewable energy compliance general manager Gary Freeman said: "The increased usage of poultry waste will help Duke Energy better meet state mandates for renewable energy and makes the facility more valuable to the company and its customers."

Duke Energy will buy 100% of the energy and associated renewable energy certificates (RECs) from the facility. A REC is a commodity equal to 1MWh of renewable generation.

Under North Carolina's Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Portfolio Standard (REPS), Duke Energy must eventually meet 0.21% of its overall power sales with energy generated by swine and poultry waste. North Carolina is the only state with a renewable energy carveout for swine and poultry waste.

The poultry waste requirement is set to increase over the next two years, and the CCWE contract will provide Duke Energy with valuable RECs to meet the increased compliance requirements.

CCWE's plant manager Robert Van Ells said: "We are pleased that we will continue to provide renewable, reliable energy that meets the needs of homes and businesses in our region – while also continuing to support not only our employees but 150 other families who supply us with goods and materials."

CCWE has about 50 employees and also supports jobs in logging, trucking, welding, parts supply industries and many other local merchants in the area. Its use of waste wood lessens the amount of materials going to local landfills. It is an important economic contributor to the region.

Craven County economic development director Timothy Downs said: "Craven County is excited about our continued, long-term relationship with Craven County Wood Energy. From employment, both direct and indirect, to alternative energy production, CCWE plays a vital role in the economic development of our community."

Source: Company Press Release