Thursday, September 18, 2014

Tioga County Mine Drainage Project Gets OK To Generate Electricity

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued a power generation license September 3 for the Antrim Treatment Trust in Tioga County to operate the 40 kW micro-hydropower plant in the Babb Creek/Pine Creek Watershed as net producer of power.
This is the first project ever licensed by FERC that uses mine drainage to generate electricity that can be sold on the grid.  
In February 2014, the Trust received the final "NEMR" (net energy metering) approval from Penelec authorizing the connection of the Antrim micro-hydropower turbines to the electric grid.  This agreement allows both turbines to go on-grid and sell excess power.
The hydropower project has been operational and providing the Antrim AMD water treatment plant with a portion of the plant’s electric need with just one of two turbines since May 2012.  Combined, the turbines can generate up to 40 kW of power.  Expected power generation from the grid-connected power system is 460,000 kilowatt hours per year.
The Antrim treatment plant will use a large portion of the power, saving up to $12,000 annually.  Any additional power generated by the Antrim Micro-Hydropower Project (AMHP) will help offset the operational cost of the Antrim Treatment Plant.
The project was a collaborative effort of DEP’s Moshannon District Mining Office, Babb Creek Watershed Association, Antrim Treatment Trust, the Anthracite Region Independent Power Producers Association, the Eastern Pa. Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, the Western Pa. Coalition for Abandoned Mine Reclamation, the Tioga County Conservation District, and the project design/build partner, BioMost Inc.
The project was financed by a 2009 Energy Harvest Grant to the Babb Creek Watershed Association, Inc., for $428,710; however, the cost to obtain the FERC license, greater than $75,000, was contributed by BioMost, Inc.
(Reprinted from September 18 issue of DEP News.  Click Here to sign up to receive your own copy of DEP News and back issues.)

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