Nacogdoches Biomass Power Plant Up and Running
It's not just a new biomass power plant. In keeping with the Texas tradition of everything being "bigger and better", the new biomass power plant in Nacogdoches County is the largest power plant of its kind in the United States.
The Tyler Morning Telegraph reports the plant on 165 acres in the small town of Sacul went online this week, and is already providing power for the city of Austin.
A biomass power plant generates electricity by burning organic wood waste. It's no coincidence that the two biomass plants in Texas are in the thickly forested east Texas area.
The new plant in Nacogdoches County cost $500 million dollars, and just building it created more than a thousand jobs. Operating it will create more than a hundred jobs, and hundreds more jobs for contractors who sell waste wood to the plant.
Nacogdoches officials say it has a payroll of more than $5 million dollars, and it will bring nearly $60 million dollars in state and local taxes.
The best thing about biomass power is that it is the perfect "green" power source. It uses renewable fuel and there's no air pollution, although there are concerns that waste water from biomass plants could pollute nearby waterways.
This is the state's second biomass power plant. The first one -- Aspen Power -- went on line in Lufkin last year. It was taken off line for a few months earlier this year when electricity prices dipped too low for the plant to make a profit.