2007 Industry Outlook
The corn ethanol craze will continue in 2007. But some scientists say the state may someday be able to produce all the ethanol it needs using homegrown biomass — from sugar cane to wood waste.
CROP-FUELED: Biomass' power plant will run on a bamboo-type of crop called e-grass.
Company to Watch
Biomass Investment Group Inc.
Biomass Investment has received approval from the Florida Public Service Commission to proceed with plans to build a biomass power plant in central Florida. Fueled with a fast-growing bamboo-type crop called Arundo donax, also known as giant reed or e-grass, it would be the world's first commercial biomass plant that uses crops grown on site.
It would generate about 130,000 kilowatts, or enough to power 83,000 homes. Progress Energy has signed a 25-year contract with the company to buy electricity generated at the plant. The Florida Native Plant Society opposes the plans to raise giant reed because of its invasive characteristics and negative impact on native plants.
Where Floridians get their electricity
- 33 municipally owned electric utilities
- 18 rural electric cooperatives
- 5 investor-owned electric utilities: Florida Power & Light, Progress Energy Florida, Tampa Electric Co., Gulf Power Co., Florida Public Utilities Co.