Biomass Replacing Coal

Commercial scale biomass cogeneration for a U.S. department of energy facility

The Situation

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site requires the use of high pressure steam for vitrification.

The Problem

With a 1950s era coal-fired steam plant and funding constraints, SRS was not leading by example in the area of clean technology development and commercialization, despite more energy efficient technology and abundant renewable resources in the area.

The Solution

Through an Energy Savings Performance Contract (“ESPC”), Hannon Armstrong provided $125 million to enable its client to install a biomass cogeneration facility capable of producing 240,000 pph of steam and 20 MWs of electricity, along with other energy upgrades.

The Benefit

SRS has reduced its greenhouse gas emissions by 100,000 tons per year by replacing substantial fossil fuel use with local biomass, all while reducing ongoing operating costs.


Close Up View of a Typical Bubbling Fluidized Bed Boiler System