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NYT on burning wood for power

Post in 'The Green Room' started by teutonicking, Nov 4, 2013.

  1. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    ddddddden likes this.

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  2. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Be careful what you wish for. We have a wood-fired power plant here for more than 30 years. https://www.burlingtonelectric.com/page.php?pid=75&name=mcneil
    The result is that local tree services can drop off their loads there for free meaning they have no incentive to just come to your driveway. Scrounging is hard work here.
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    But this is a good thing. I hope it works out well for many.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Yep, sure. I should be the last one complaining about conserving non-renewable resources just because it makes my life a little harder. Nevertheless, the idea that we can just switch even a substantial amount of our energy needs to burning wood is a little bit of a false hope. I once took the number of wood that can be harvested per year in a substantial fashion. If you grant each household 3 cords (a low estimate as it contains hardwood and softwood) we would be able to heat approx. 150 million homes. Not too bad until you realize we would not heat a single non-residential building, made any furniture, paper, etc., or generated any electricity as above.

    When we are honest: How many of those trees we happily "scrounged" have been replaced versus land clearing? Not too many, I fear.
  5. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    I'm looking at this from the perspective of someone who has hand fired power boilers, both wood and coal. My back is hurting just thinking of it.

    McNeil sounds really interesting. I think that would be a neat plant to go on a walk through, especially given the tri fuel capability.
  6. teutonicking

    teutonicking Feeling the Heat

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    Very interesting--thanks for sharing that. I'm a little surprised at how much they are paying for their wood fuel. Here is what that article says about the cost of wood:

    How much does wood fuel cost?
    The wood cost depends on such factors as hauling distance, transportation method and the type of material. Wood hauled directly to the plant is less expensive than wood that is reloaded and shipped by rail. Current wood costs range between $22.00 and $31.00 per ton delivered by truck. Rail transport and extra handling adds about $7.00 per ton.


    Since 75% of thier wood comes via rail, it looks like for that portion they are paying between $72 and 95 per cord for their wood ($22+$7=$29 x 2.5(they assume 2.5 tons/cord)=$72.5 or $31+7=$38x2.5=$95. That seems like a lot of money to me for "logging residue" they are burning.

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