History

The Gainesville Renewable Energy Center (GREC) is a 100-MW biomass power facility located in Gainesville, Florida, which supplies enough renewable power for approximately 70,000 homes. Designed to cleanly and efficiently produce renewable energy from local wood wastes, GREC represents the latest in biomass technology. GREC has a 30-year contract with Gainesville Regional Utilities (GRU) to sell electricity to the utility. The biomass facility is bringing significant benefits to GRU and its customers. Biomass energy supplements GRU’s and the City of Gainesville’s energy portfolio, which includes solar power. GREC also meets GRU’s need for improved reliability, increased fuel diversity and long-term cost stability for customers. GREC has also brought numerous jobs to the community.  More than 700 direct and indirect permanent jobs are being created throughout the region as a result of GREC.

GREC is owned by Energy Management, Inc., BayCorp Holdings Ltd., and Starwood Energy Inc., as well as by certain principals of Fagen, Inc., the contractor that built the facility.

 

GREC Timeline:

 

2002 Community discussions begin in Gainesville about a new power source
2003 Gainesville Energy Advisory Committee sponsors six community workshops to gain customer input
Dec 2003 Formal resource planning study presented to City Commission
Dec 2004 City Commission approves staff recommendation to proceed with 240 MW coal plant with capability to burn up to 30 MW of biomass.
April 2006 City Commission approved GRU All Source Solicitation to initiate a conceptual design and pricing to meet demand and energy needs; GRU begins discussions with GREC on biomass project
Dec 2006 GRU issues Request for Interest, GREC makes a submission
May 2007 City Commission hears presentation of 15 possible generation options
June 2007 City Commission removes petroleum coke and coal from considertation. Woody biomass and municipal solid waste are acceptable options and Deerhaven as a potential site is deemed acceptable.
Oct 2007 City Commission develops criteria for ranking proposals on 14 factors. Biomass solicitation is initiated
Dec 2007 GRU issues Request for Proposals, GREC makes a submission
Jan 2008 GRU selects GREC as a Finalist to submit more detailed proposal
Apr 2008 GRU presents three proposals to City Commission
May 2008 GREC was awarded the right to solely negotiate PPA with GRU
Apr 2009 Executed Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) between GRU and GREC
May 2009 Gainesville City Commission unanimously approved PPA
June 2010 Received Site Plan Approval from Gainesville Development Review Board and received Need Determination from Florida Public Service Commission
July 2010 Received Project Analysis Report from Florida DEP with recommendation for Site Certification approval
July 2010 Received draft air construction permit from FDEP
Aug 2010 Conducted Site Certification hearing
Sept 2010 Conducted air construction permit final hearing
Dec 2010 Received Site Certification from Siting Board after unanimous decision including from the Governor of Florida
Jun 2011 Financial Closing and Construction Commencement
Feb 2012 Start of erecting the boiler at site
Jun 2013 Start of sustained wood fuel deliveries
Jul 2013 Start of boiler use, beginning of plant testing
Aug 2013 First synchronization to electric grid
Aug 2013 First time running at full power
Oct 2013 Substantial Completion of facility
Nov 2013 Performance Testing
Dec 2013 Start of commercial operations

 

Agencies that Reviewed and / or Approved GREC:

  • Alachua County
  • City of Gainesville
  • Florida Siting Board (Governor Crist and Cabinet)
  • Florida Public Service Commission (Commissioners David Klement, Lisa Polak and Nathan Skop voting in favor)
  • Florida Department of Environmental Protection
  • Florida Department of Health
  • Florida Department of Agriculture
  • Florida Department of Community Affairs
  • Florida Department of State
  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • North Florida Regional Planning Council
  • Swannee River Water Management District
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers