AIKEN, SC - Nearly 21,000 tons of timber and woody debris damaged by the February ice storms in South Carolina has been burned as renewable energy at the Savannah River bio-energy plant, run by Ameresco in Aiken, SC.
Ameresco, Inc., (NYSE:AMRC) used the wood at its biomass cogeneration facility located at the U.S. Department of Energy Savannah River Site in Aiken. The major ice storm impacted the U.S. southern region during February 11-13, 2014.
Following February’s ice storm, the South Carolina Forestry Commission issued a forest disaster declaration and reported that timber damage affected 24 counties across 1.5 million forestland acres in the state. In Georgia, numerous counties experienced widespread ice damage according to the Georgia Forestry Commission.
Ameresco’s biomass cogeneration facility began receiving damaged wood the week following the winter storm in South Carolina and Georgia. Since the storm nearly 21,000 tons of storm-related fuel wood has been purchased for the biomass plant, which represents more than 55% of total purchases during the period. Ameresco says it expects to continue receiving damaged timber and woody debris from the region through the summer.
Following the storm, local municipalities had been actively cleaning debris throughout the region in advance of last week's 2014 Masters Golf Tournament in Augusta, GA.
Since March 2014, the biomass cogeneration facility has received storm wood from Aiken, Allendale and Barnwell Counties in South Carolina, and Burke and Hancock Counties in Georgia. Ameresco estimates that it will convert over 30,000 tons of storm-damaged wood into renewable power at the plant this year.
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