Iron Range Biomass Plant
Various news outlets are reporting that the Iron Range Biomass Energy Project is nearing completion and will begin test burns in November:
"Making Biomass a Reality" Mesabi Daily News, 10.30.06
"Bring on Biomass" Hibbing Daily Tribune, 10.31.06
"Iron Range biomass projects unveiled" StarTribune, 10.31.06
The $82 million project with the cities of Virginia and Hibbing has a 20 yr contract with Xcel Energy for 35 megawatts, to fulfill in part, the Biomass Mandate from the Prairie Island Nuclear Power Plant compromise from 1994. Notably, 25% of the fuel must come from closed-loop biomass, aka tree farms specifically grown for this project. The project will also provide district heating for the two cities. Word on the street is that the electricity contract is in excess of 10 cents/kWh.