Nacogdoches Generating Facility, owned by Southern Co. in Nacogdoches County, Texas
The 100 MW Nacogdoches Generating Facility is a full-scale biomass plant in Nacogdoches County, Texas. The nation's largest biomass plant supplies all of its power to Austin Energy in a 20-year PPA. The Austin City Council approved the $2.3 billion project in 2008, and the plant was commissioned in June 2012.
The entire facility utilizes just one boiler, making it the largest biomass bubbling fluidized bed (BFB) boiler unit in the world. The Nacogdoches biomass plant is also unique because it uses 100 percent non-merchantable wood fuel, which consists of forest residue from the surrounding areas, wood processing residues and clean municipal wood waste. Approximately 1 million tons of fuel will be required annually, which is to be procured within a 75-mile radius of the project site.
During construction, extreme drought put the water supply for the facility, the Angelina River, in jeopardy – the river became completely dry and was deemed unreliable to supply the facility. Developers constructed a 10-mile water line to a nearby lake that now provides ample water to supply plant operations.
Nacogdoches has made a significant impact in the surrounding towns. During construction, more than 100 vendor contracts for services and maintenance were established, as well as 25 fuel supply contracts. The facility allowed for more than 1,000 construction jobs, which was a boost for the local economy in the 200-resident town of Sacul. The facility is also set to employ 40 full-time workers. To train these employees, Southern Power and a fuel supplier sponsored a charity auction that contributed $21,000 to the Nacogdoches Technical Training Center. The facility will also contribute an estimated $58 million in new taxes over the next 20 years.