Developing Homegrown Energy; Cities Try to Plug into Renewable Source, but It's Not Easy and Not Cheap
Bauerlein, David, The Florida Times Union
Byline: David Bauerlein
In Gainesville, construction is under way on a $500 million biomass plant that will produce one-fifth of the electricity consumed by Gainesville Regional Utilities customers by 2015.
To advocates of renewable energy, it's the kind of project that can make Florida the "Saudi Arabia of biomass" - a combination of using environmentally friendly energy (wood waste) that also generates jobs from a homegrown energy sector.
JEA has made some moves to plug into that new energy economy, but on a smaller scale. The Jacksonville-owned utility purchases electricity generated by a privately owned solar farm on the Westside and also buys electricity fueled by methane gas from decomposing garbage in the Trail Ridge landfill.
But less than 1 percent of JEA's electricity comes from those two renewable energy sources.
One reason is that renewable power costs more than conventional power. Another, the agency admits, is because the state …
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Publication information: Article title: Developing Homegrown Energy; Cities Try to Plug into Renewable Source, but It's Not Easy and Not Cheap. Contributors: Bauerlein, David - Author. Newspaper title: The Florida Times Union. Publication date: March 30, 2012. Page number: Not available. © 2007 The Florida Times-Union. COPYRIGHT 2012 Gale Group.
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