PORT GIBSON — National Clean Fuels’ affiliate, the Center for Environment, Commerce & Energy, conducted a third successful scoping visit to Port Gibson where the two companies are working together to build a biomass-to-electricity (BTE) plant.
During the trip, Center president Norris McDonald met with representatives from South Mississippi Electric Power Association (SMEPA) and Southwest Mississippi Electric Power Association (SWEPA)—two of the area’s top service providers—to discuss grid interconnection requirements and a potential power purchasing agreement related to the BTE plant. NACF and the Center hope that the biomass generator will produce an abundance of energy that can be redistributed along the energy grid in Port Gibson and surrounding areas.
McDonald and other executives also met with the faculty and staff of Alcorn State University during their visit. Alcorn State’s campus is located near Port Gibson, and SWEPA holds a long-term lease with the school to operate an electrical substation on the university’s property. NACF and the Center hope to negotiate a similar lease to build and operate their BTE plant at Alcorn State.
“I expect to meet with the new president of Alcorn State in January to begin negotiations to secure a long-term lease,” McDonald said. “We’ll also discuss supplementary projects that could potentially complement the BTE production, such as possible fuel-cell electricity production as well as the possibility of a natural gas pipeline located on the campus serving as a backup fuel source for the plant’s generator.”
NACF and the Center signed a profit participation agreement in late November 2010. Plans call for the new Port Gibson BTE plant to generate electricity by gasifying sawdust and woodchips to power a massive turbine. NACF inked a letter of intent with the City of Port Gibson in September to devise plans for biomass and solar-energy production in and around the municipality as well as other potential means of green energy production. The Center will assist with the planning and implementation of the project.