Columbia Plans To Test Renewable Energy

3 years 3 weeks 4 days ago December 30, 2013 Dec 30, 2013 Monday, December 30 2013 Monday, December 30, 2013 3:42:00 PM CST in News
By: Paige Hornor, KOMU 8 News Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - After three years of work, Nancy Heimann will soon see if the biomass fuel she makes is something the city can use. Biomass is made from materials such as coffee grounds, wood chips, corn refuse and grasses. The city will be testing to see if these materials can burn in the Columbia Water and Light's Power Plant sometime next year.

The biomass pellets would be used in addition to coal, which is currently the primary energy source. Columbia tested the use of biomass from a different company last year, but the materials broke apart and burned too quickly. Now, Columbia is working with Enginuity Worldwide LLC, where Heimann is the president. She says her product won't have the same problems as the last test did.

"What we do is we bind every fiber to every fiber using an innovative binder so we have much stronger durability and much more longevity," Heimann said.

This is a process for making biomass that's new to the industry. Heimann says the experimental pellets are bigger. They are designed to have the same shape and characteristics as coal.

"The future of biomass at the Columbia power plant is going to be determined by how well it acts like coal, so we don't have to be able to do a lot of upgrades to the plant," Connie Kacprowicz, spokesperson for Columbia Water and Light, said.

The product also has to be able to withstand the elements, because it will be stored outside.

"We think we have a good solution for that to take things that are on the ground and economically bring those to an engineered fuel so they can be used to supplement coal and give longer life to our coal fired legacy fleet," Heimann said.

A RENEWABLE GOAL

Columbia's renewable energy goal is to use 15% renewable resources by the end of 2022. The city exceeded this year's goal of 7% renewable energy, but biomass could help them increase that number even more.

"The National Renewable Energy labs has documented that certain biomass will have a carbon negative footprint," Heimann said. "That means we can use the energy inside that biomass and not involve any more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."

If the test burn succeeds, the city will need to determine the cost and approve the purchase of biomass from Enginuity. Biomass materials are more costly than coal, which is a plentiful resource in the Midwest.

Kacprowicz says cost is a big consideration, because the renewable energy mandate says renewable energy cannot raise the cost on utility bills more than 3%.

"There are ways to use biomass in conjunction with coal so that we do not raise the overall fuel price but a few percent but we get significant impact on the emissions especially on the CO2 emissions," Heimann said.

TESTING THE PROJECT

For the test burn, the city received a $50,000 grant from the American Public Power Association for materials and research. Biomass costs $350 per ton. The total cost of the test burn is $375,000.

Heimann says investing in biomass helps local farmers.

"We really think that technologies that enable the bio-economy can really have a transformative effect in the rural areas of our state and others," Heimann said.

Enginuity works with Missouri Corn Growers Association to get materials like corn stover from local farmers. Corn stover is the waste product left on the ground after corn has been harvested. For the test burn, the materials will come from the Missouri river bottoms.

Heimann says the test burn will take a few months and the city is planning for it in the summer.

Related Stories

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department said it arrested two armed robbery suspects Monday. Detectives said they arrested 26-year-old... More >>
10 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 10:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Police Department has made an arrest in connection to a shooting in north Columbia Monday evening,... More >>
12 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 8:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA- A recent study from researchers at the University of California, San Diego and San Diego State University show sedentary... More >>
13 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:39:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Kan. (AP) — A 70-year-old man who told investigators after robbing a Kansas bank that he'd rather be... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:15:01 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri's new Republican secretary of state has been defending his decision to appoint a securities industry... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 7:08:05 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The City of Columbia is looking to improve its apartment recycling program. The program provides recycling containers, which... More >>
14 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:39:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Legislation regarding the safety of Missouri law enforcement officers and first responders continues to be a hot... More >>
15 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 5:40:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A twin-engine Beechcraft Baron aircraft had a crash landing on Monday afternoon at Columbia Regional Airport. The... More >>
16 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CST in News
ST. JOSEPH (AP) — A proposed bill would impose penalties on Missouri gun owners who don't report a lost or... More >>
18 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 3:16:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - If you're a Missourian and have purchased dairy products in the past 14 years, you might be eligible... More >>
18 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (and again and again). Sleep is incredibly important. It’s... More >>
19 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:47:00 PM CST in News
AUDRAIN COUNTY - A Vandalia man was sentenced to seven years in jail after he encouraged a 13-year-old to have... More >>
19 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:43:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway released an audit on Shelbina municipal court in northeast Missouri that found... More >>
20 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 1:13:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Economic Development Director Stacey Button is not looking for a new airport manager. Former Columbia Regional Airport... More >>
20 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 12:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia police are looking for a possible link between a shots-fired call and a shooting victim who showed... More >>
23 hours ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 9:35:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a decomposed body has been found near a bridge in a Kansas City... More >>
1 day ago January 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017 Monday, January 23 2017 Monday, January 23, 2017 6:30:00 AM CST in News
LA MONTE - The Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney's Office filed charges against three men after a home invasion Saturday night.... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:47:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The MFA Oil Break Time shootout featured talented athletes from all around Missouri on Sunday. There were six... More >>
1 day ago January 22, 2017 Jan 22, 2017 Sunday, January 22 2017 Sunday, January 22, 2017 6:45:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
10am 40°
11am 43°
12pm 46°
1pm 49°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
12:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Noon
9:00a
The Steve Wilkos Show
10:00a
Jerry Springer
11:00a
Jerry Springer

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
The Wall
8:00p
This Is Us
9:00p
Chicago Fire
7:00p
The Flash
8:00p
DC's Legends of Tomorrow
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld