New power plant in Lowndes will produce green energy - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

New power plant in Lowndes will produce green energy

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - Lowndes County is excited to begin building its own biomass electric generating plant. 

"99.9% of the group that was there (at Thursday's public hearing) was very much in favor of the project," says Brad Lofton, Executive Director of the Industrial Authority.

The plant will use waste water and biomass solids to produce environmentally friendly energy.

These biomass solids are derived from green products such as bark, limbs, carpenters' wood scraps, and even dried sludge from waste water.  Previously, these products would have taken up space in a landfill.  Now, they will be burned and used to fuel the plant.

Besides reducing landfill waste, the project will also benefit the environment through its technology.

"It's on the absolute opposite end of the spectrum from coal," says Lofton.  "You have a coal burning plant, and on the opposite end is wood, which is clean, it's green, it's renewable."

The plant will be constructed on a plot of land at Highway 94 and Inner Perimeter Road, next to the Mud Creek Waste Water Facility.  The location will make it easy to reuse the treated waste water.

"We're using waste water that would go into the water system, and we're putting something on the tax digest that benefits from property taxes," says Gary Minchew of the Industrial Authority Board.  

The tax revenue the plant will generate is the equivalent of more than 300 families paying taxes.

"It will provide about 2.3 million dollars over ten years to just the Lowndes County Board of Education," says Lofton.

While the plant will soon be under construction, its not expected to begin production until 2012.

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