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Energy Sources

What Is Biomass Energy?

Likely the oldest known fuel type, biomass refers to any biological material that can be used as energy. Biomass energy is most commonly derived from low-grade wood waste like woodchips, wood pellets and tree limbs resulting from tree-thinning activities. Agricultural crops, crop residues and farm animal wastes are also forms of biomass that can be converted to energy. There are several methods used to convert biomass to electricity, but the simplest is burning it to generate steam, which is then used to generate electricity.

Benefits of Biomass Energy

In Georgia, trees are an abundant, renewable natural resource when properly managed as part of a balanced energy program. Georgia Power is investing in the research and technology required to convert coal-burning plants to biomass. Processing wood as biomass is considered carbon-neutral since the resultant emissions equal the carbon dioxide absorbed by the trees as they matured. Replacing coal with wood reduces emissions of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

The biomass conversion will have lower fuel and operating costs when compared to continued operation using coal, thereby making the plant more cost-effective for Georgia Power customers.

Read More About Georgia Power's Technological Advancements in Biomass Energy

Related Topics

Other Renewable Energy Sources

Georgia Power utilizes other renewable forms of energy.
Read About the Other Renewables We Use

Power Generating Plants

Georgia Power owns 18 power plants.
See How Generating Plants Work

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Georgia Power purchases only the energy output from some of the renewable generating facilities discussed herein. The specification of sole ownership of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) and their environmental attributes are outlined contractually in the respective power purchase agreements for each renewable generating facility.

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