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The Future of Energy in Tallahassee

By: Laura Kadechka
By: Laura Kadechka

Tallahassee City Commissioner Allan Katz says he was recently approached by an electric company out of Georgia that says it cannot only produce power using yard waste and scrap wood, but it would build the plant.

It's not an option he is saying is the answer to the power problem, but that biomass is a viable alternative.

Allan Katz says, "We now have the opportunity to make some decisions, while difficult, are going to have a huge impact on what the future of electricity in this community is going to be all about."

He says the company would pay to build the plant if the city agreed to a 20-year deal.

Katz adds, "To me it's an exciting prospect, along with the other prospects that are available."

Katz says he's not saying this one plant proposal is the solution, but that biomass is an alternative the city must consider as it weighs power options during the next few months.

Coal and the continued use of natural gas are also being considered.

Kevin Wailes, Tallahassee Electric Utility General Manager, says, ”The combination could include biomass, certainly would include more efficiency programs and things to better use energy, as well as using additional base loads and looking at ways to diversify our fuel mix."

Wailes says they are looking at all the alternatives. Whether your yard waste will one day power your home is a decision yet to be made.

Wailes says he expects to approach the City Commission with all of the best fuel options sometime in the spring. That would conclude City Electric's integrated resource planning process.


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