Biomass power plant public workshop today

Carson City planning officials and engineers spearheading a proposed small-scale biomass power plant at the Northern Nevada Corrections Center are hosting a public workshop today to answer questions on specifics of wood-burning power generation.

The proposed one-megawatt plant, along with a few solar panels, would produce the bulk of the prison's energy supply and maybe even a little extra the prison could sell to Sierra Pacific Power Co. Prison officials say the plant would save taxpayers an estimated $1.5 million over the plant's 20- to 30-year life.

Some local residents have voiced opposition to the power plant, wary of the emissions its two wood-fired boilers might pump out into the Carson City air.

The plant would burn between 18 and 22 tons of dried wood chips per year.

Air permitting consultants working for the prison say the plant is highly efficient and clean burning. It will likely produce higher amounts of some pollutants than a comparable natural gas-fired plant and lower amounts of others.

Overall, the consultants say the plant will be less polluting than the traffic of Carson Street.

The workshop is scheduled from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. today at the Plaza Conference Center, 211 E. 9th St.


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