Change font size: A A A
Print this page

Region's Newest Renewable Biomass Energy Project Reaches Commercial Operation

Click Here for a PDF version of this press release.

August 11, 2009

PORTLAND, Ore. — Iberdrola Renewables and Simpson Tacoma Kraft Company, LLC (Simpson) today announced that the Northwest's newest renewable energy facility -- a 55 megawatt (MW) biomass cogeneration plant at Simpson's Tacoma, Wash., pulp and paper mill -- has reached commercial operation. Simpson owns and operates the renewable energy cogeneration facility, which generates power from a combination of wood based biomass and wood lignin recovered from the pulping process. The biomass based fuels are used to generate steam which spins a steam turbine making renewable power while providing process steam to the mill. Iberdrola Renewables purchases all the renewable electricity from Simpson and manages high-voltage transmission and delivery to California.

Simpson invested approximately $90 million to build the project, of which $20 million was in new construction jobs. Iberdrola Renewables announced in October that they had sold the entire power output to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD).

"Successfully delivering new renewable energy supply with a partner like Simpson is an exciting accomplishment," said Peter van Alderwerelt, senior vice president at Iberdrola Renewables. "Bringing together our detailed knowledge of West Coast power markets and unique portfolio of transmission rights combined with Simpson's extensive experience throughout the forest products sector makes for an important development at a time when it is vital for our utility customers to find more sources of clean, renewable power."

"We are thrilled with our successful new venture in renewable energy," said Allan Trinkwald, President of Simpson. "Our renewable energy plant builds on our long history of commitment to the environment and on our existing sawmill and paper mill operations. Working with Iberdrola Renewables' experienced and talented team was a big help in getting to commercial operation."

The power leaves the plant from a Tacoma Power interconnection where Iberdrola Renewables manages delivery to California across 3 different transmission systems, where SMUD then uses the energy to help reach its goal of meeting 23 percent of its customers' energy needs with renewable sources by 2011. The plant produces enough renewable energy to power about 38,000 homes each year.

Iberdrola Renewables is the world's leading provider of wind power, and ended the first half of 2009 with 10,003 MW of total installed capacity, including more than 3,000 MW in the US. Iberdrola Renewables owns more than 600 MW of clean, gas-fired generation. The company also owns 72.5 BCF of gas storage and has another 80 BCF of gas storage under contract in the US and Canada. www.iberdrolarenewables.us

Simpson, headquartered in Tacoma, WA has been in the forest products business since 1890. It operates four wood product manufacturing plants, one pulp and paper facility, and a door manufacturing plant in Washington State, along with two wood product manufacturing plants in South Carolina and one in Georgia. For more information, visit www.simpson.com.

Contact: Art Sasse, Director, Communications & Brand, Iberdrola Renewables, 503-796-7740
Paul Copleman, Media Relations, Iberdrola Renewables, 207-641-2805
Dave McEntee, Simpson Investment Company, (253) 779-6405

###