Wood used as fuel!

Robbins, Illiinois-based Robbins Community Power is to transform an idle waste-to-energy facility into a ‘renewable’ energy plant.


Robbins, Illiinois-based Robbins Community Power is to transform an idle waste-to-energy facility into a ‘renewable’ energy plant providing power for the Chicago metropolitan area.


The $20m upgrade of the facility will enable the plant to burn wood by-products and generate approximately 375,000MWh of energy per year.


Power will be generated by transforming biomass – wood by-products reduced to wood chips – into electricity. In addition to providing power, Robbin estimates that the plant will have the added benefit of keeping about 200,000 tons of construction debris and other wood products out of local landfills every year.


Engineers at GE Energy will work with Robbins to recommission the facility’s electrical system, replace the control system and continuous emissions monitoring system, upgrade fan variable frequency drive systems and install reverse osmosis water purification equipment.


Last month, legislation designed to clarify the term ‘clean wood’ as fuel rather than waste in Illinois law overwhelmingly passed the Illinois General Assembly and now is headed to Governor Rod Blagojevich’s desk for approval.