Columbia Plans To Test Renewable Energy

2 years 1 month 1 week 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

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
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Kansas City woman who worked as a teacher and lived on a pension left $2... More >>
1 hour ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:33:39 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA (AP) — University of Missouri officials say they're looking into whether a graduate student employee union would be legal.... More >>
2 hours ago February 13, 2016 Feb 13, 2016 Saturday, February 13 2016 Saturday, February 13, 2016 11:04:08 AM CST in News
CAMDEN COUNTY - Mid County Fire Protection District responded to a residential fire southeast of Camdenton late Friday afternoon. ... More >>
17 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 8:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Business Loop 70 Community Improvement District, or CID, has applications open for residents, business owners or registered... More >>
18 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 7:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, announced additional disaster assistance for renters in Missouri affected by... More >>
19 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 6:06:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A man is recovering Friday after he jumped into a frozen lake to save the life of his... More >>
20 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:33:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Kansas City has created a plan in the city budget to tear down about 800 vacant... More >>
20 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:32:00 PM CST in News
FERGUSON (AP) — Ferguson's mayor says city leaders warned U.S. Department of Justice negotiators last month that they couldn't guarantee... More >>
21 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 4:19:22 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia Public Schools will recommend three individuals to fill critical vacancies within the school district to the Board... More >>
21 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 3:59:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Funding would increase by $76 million for public schools if the budget proposed by the House Appropriations... More >>
21 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 3:35:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Better Business Bureau recently announced it received 2,500 complaints regarding online dating services during 2015. Regional... More >>
22 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 3:20:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY – Sedalia man sentenced to seven years without parole for distributing methamphetamine. United States Attorney for the... More >>
22 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 2:32:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - An animal control officer in Boone County said she does not see animal torture or mutilation cases that... More >>
22 hours ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 2:31:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Capital Region Medical Center and the Jefferson City Medical Group have teamed up for a new pain... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 12:22:38 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Springfield man has been charged with assaulting a woman on the Missouri State University campus and... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 12:00:00 PM CST in News
GRANBY (AP) — Environmental officials say mine waste removal efforts are gearing up in southwest Missouri. Liz Hagenmaier, of... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 11:53:00 AM CST in News
MORGAN COUNTY — A fatal crash on U.S. Highway 50 Thursday morning left a high school student dead with another... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 11:01:56 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A judge has denied a public vote on a proposed convention hotel in downtown Kansas City.... More >>
1 day ago February 12, 2016 Feb 12, 2016 Friday, February 12 2016 Friday, February 12, 2016 10:24:00 AM CST in News
Interactive Radar Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 18°
2pm 19°
3pm 21°
4pm 22°
5pm 22°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

12:00 pm
2016 U.S. Summer Olympic Trials
3:00 pm
USSA Skiing and Snowboarding
4:00 pm
USSA Skiing and Snowboarding
1:00 pm
The Pink Panther 2
3:00 pm
Dog Jack
5:00 pm
Crazy Talk

Tonight's Schedule

7:00 pm
Dateline NBC
9:00 pm
Saturday Night Live
7:00 pm
Family Guy
7:30 pm
Family Guy
8:00 pm
Bob's Burgers
8:30 pm
Bob's Burgers
9:00 pm
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30 pm
Seinfeld