In the forest products industry, Cogeneration typically means that a manufacturing facility (a sawmill for example) burns its waste material, such as bark and sawdust, to produce steam, which is then used to dry lumber and to generate electricity. Since wood wastes are viewed as carbon neutral and renewable, biomass-fired Cogeneration is a small but growing component in the process of supplying renewable electricity to meet societys needs. One factor causing this growth includes the intense focus on green or renewable energy production. In fact, due to changes in public policy, renewable power projects are being offered a myriad of state and federal financial benefits and tax incentives which can help make the economics of cogeneration more profitable than ever.

Beck has completed several cogeneration studies, including a fuel supply and demand analysis, a feasibility assessment, and representing a client in negotiations with a utility regarding a power purchase agreement. Our past projects on this topic have been located throughout the U.S. and typically involve the analysis of the following factors:

  • Determine state and federal financial incentive programs for a woody biomass electrical generation project
  • Fiber Supply regional assessment of available residuals from woods to industrial sources, as well as the current and future cost of residuals in the market
  • Size and location of power plant
  • Estimate the capital cost of converting current direct-fired dry kiln(s) to steam (installation and equipment cost)
  • Assess the logistics necessary to maintain kiln operation during the transition
  • Negotiate power purchase agreements with utilities, as well as oversee the physical interfacing of the power supply to the utilitys grid
  • Determine permitting, regulatory or environmental issues with the site and ensure compliance