U.S. EcoGen, LLC ("EcoGen") is organized as a Delaware Limited Liability Company ("LLC"). EcoGen has six subsidiary companies, including two operating companies, U.S. EcoGen Services, LLC, and U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC, as well as four project companies; U.S. EcoGen Polk, LLC, U.S. EcoGen Okeechobee LLC, U.S. EcoGen Clay, LLC and U.S. EcoGen Martin, LLC. U.S. EcoGen Services, LLC ("EcoGen Services") is the operating entity which will be responsible for providing operations and maintenance ("O&M") services to the projects. U.S. EcoGen Trading, LLC ("EcoGen Trading") will provide fuel transportation, logistical and inventory management services to the project companies.
Each EcoGen Biomass Electrical Generating Facility (“Generating Facility”) will utilize proven conventional direct-fired, bubbling fluidized bed biomass boiler and steam turbine technology in a “bottom cycle” configuration to minimize project development, construction completion, and performance risk and to deliver enhanced portfolio operating characteristics. Each EcoGen Generating Facility will have several discrete components. Those components include the Fuel Supply Boiler Island, the Power Island, Electrical Interconnection Facilities and the Administrative Areas.
The Fuel Supply area will contain all of the equipment and systems required to weigh, unload, classify, chip and store biomass fuel and convey it from the receiving area to the feed hoppers, which meter the biomass fuel into the boiler. The Boiler Island receives the biomass fuel from the Fuel Supply area and converts a portion of the chemical energy contained in the biomass fuel to thermal energy in the form of superheated high pressure steam. This conversion process involves the combustion of the biomass fuel in a fluidized bed boiler. The products of combustion leave the boiler as cooled flue gas, which is scrubbed using state-of-the-art air emission control technology, before leaving the emission stack into the atmosphere. The solid residue or ash left over from the efficient combustion process will be used as a Plantation soil conditioner.
The Power Island receives the superheated, high pressure steam from the boiler and converts a portion of the thermal energy contained in the steam to electrical energy within the condensing/extraction steam turbine generator. Additional equipment in the Power Island includes the condenser, pumps, piping and associated controls. The electrical energy generated in the steam turbine is increased in voltage to EcoGen’s utility customer’s transmission line voltage by the main power transformer located within the switchyard. The switchyard, switchgear, conductors, breakers, meters, controls and transformers comprise the equipment within the Electrical Interconnection facilities. The operators and plant management of the EcoGen Generating Facility are housed within the Administrative area. This area includes the control room, laboratory, parts room, machine shop, administrative offices and guardhouse facilities.
EcoGen has implemented a vertically integrated, closed loop, biomass fuel production and transportation program that will serve to mitigate commodity and price risk associated with its biomass fuel supply chain. The closed loop fuel supply program will include cultivating clean woody biomass, primarily fast growing species of non-invasive Eucalyptus, which will be purposely grown on lands that are to be owned or leased by EcoGen Trading. EcoGen Trading may also establish joint ventures or other supply arrangements with major agricultural companies for the supply of biomass fuel, on a dedicated basis to the EcoGen’s Generating Facilities. EcoGen Trading also will establish a state-of-the-art logistics, fuel harvesting, transportation and inventory management infrastructure. The biomass fuel will be harvested as round wood, chipped, transported via truck and stored at the EcoGen Generating Facility site. The chipped wood will be placed in a large open pile and delivered to the boiler day bin on a redundant material handling system.
EcoGen will supply its generation facilities with clean woody biomass from dedicated, purposely grown, fast growing tree species. Unlike the ethanol industry in the U.S., which uses corn and other food crops, EcoGen will not compete with other sources of biomass such as building materials, paper/pulp markets or food commodities. EcoGen will focus on developing plantations of fast growing eucalyptus tree species. Eucalyptus trees reach maturity quickly and when harvested, will regrow or "coppice" from the original tree stump, providing a long term, sustainable supply for "Home Grown Power". Because the growth process is accelerated, the amount of carbon sequestration which takes place during the growing process is also accelerated, effectively making the process of developing and combusting eucalyptus biomass "carbon neutral".Future Business
EcoGen will use biomass direct fired electric generating facilities as its Standard Reference Plant Design, while maintaining the option of developing wind, solar and combined cycle natural gas projects when feasible.