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East Texas Electric Cooperative’s plans to construct a biomass peaking plant in Woodville and a hydroelectric plant on Lake Livingston have been bolstered by a $65 million allocation in federal clean renewable energy bonds.
Manager Edd Hargett said the generating cooperative is seeking new sources of power because it will need to replace wholesale power contracts that expire in 2014.
Some $40 million in bonds will go toward building the Woodville plant, which has a total budget of $190 million. It will be capable of generating up to 50 megawatts of energy from biomass, primarily using wood chips and forest waste from within 50 miles of the plant. Construction is scheduled to be completed by 2014.
The hydroelectric plant should begin delivering power in early 2013.
The electric distribution co-ops using power from East Texas EC are Bowie-Cass, Cherokee County, Deep East Texas, Houston County, Jasper-Newton, Panola-Harrison, Rusk County, Sam Houston, Upshur Rural and Wood County.
Two Texas electric cooperatives are in line to receive more than $37 million in “smart” grid grants from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, a generation and transmission co-op based in Amarillo, will receive $19.9 million; and CoServ Electric, a distribution co-op based in Corinth, will receive $17.2 million.
The money is contingent on the co-ops complying with the DOE’s timetable for making grid improvements.
Golden Spread will use its grant funds to improve its reliability of service and lower the cost of electricity by reducing the need for additional power plants.
More specifically, Golden Spread and its 16 distribution affiliates will use the money for advanced hardware and software capable of providing cooperatives with real-time information on the status of the electrical system.
The CoServ Electric project includes integrated components consisting of smart meters, a two-way communication network and computer systems dedicated to distributing accurate information about electricity consumption. The data will go to CoServ, its generation and transmission power provider and its members.