The world's largest wood pellet fuel plant just opened in Cottondale, Florida. When up to speed, it will produce 550,000 tons of pellets a year -enough to produce 2.5 trillion watt hours of electricty. The pellets are to be produced from southern yellow pine harvested within a 50-60 mile radius of the plant and then the pellets will move by rail about 60 miles to the Port of Panama City where they will go onto ships to Europe. Green Circle, the owner, is a Swedish company.
The plant is supposed to be very green and use the bark to fuel the dryers. The electric energy is from hydro and methane. They say that for every 1 unit of energy that goes into the pellets, one can get 11 units out. And it is generally carbon neutral.
I was unaware that there was as much use of pellets for home heating as there appears to be in the northeast. (Here in FL we need to heal so little that it would not pay to invest in the heaters.) However I understand that Europe is blending pellets w/coal to reduce impact from power plants.
Have any of you worked with permitting a pellet plant? Live near one? Or Heard of a plan to use pellets as a power plant fuel? This appears to be a rapidly growing thing.