A sign of hope for the conversion from fossil fuels is moving forward in San Joaquin County, Calif., where DTE Energy Services, Inc. (DTEES) has finished converting a shuttered coal-fired power plant at the Port of Stockton to operate on biomass fuel. Stockton Biomass, which began commercial operations on Feb. 21, is selling its renewable power to PG&E to help meet its renewable energy requirement. The plant will use about 320,000 tons of woody biomass fuel annually (primarily derived from urban wood waste, tree trimmings and agricultural processes) to generate about 45 megawatts of power. "The site, once one of the most polluted in San Joaquin Valley, now is home to one of the cleanest solid-fuel power plants in the country," says the San Joaquin Partnership. "It is providing 35 high-quality jobs and another 100 indirectly involved with DTE Stockton's fuel supply infrastructure."
DTEES, a subsidiary of Detroit-based DTE Energy, has completed similar biomass conversions in Cassville, Wis., and Bakersfield, Calif. The company also operates biomass power plants in Woodland, Calif., and Mobile, Ala.