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Maine Woods biomass ORC performing better than expected

Commissioned in October 2016, the 8 MWe rated Turboden Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) at Maine Woods Pellet Co. LLC is reportedly performing better than anticipated.

In October 2016, Athens-based Maine Woods Pellet Co. LLC, a leading US manufacturer of soft- and hardwood pellets commissioned via its subidary Athens Energy LLC, a Turboden Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) system. The 8 MWe biomass ORC is currently the largest such ORC produced by Italy-based Turboden, a group company of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI).

According to a statement, the plant is successfully in operation since commissioning and has already outperformed the expected power output, producing 9 MWe. Athens Energy utilises logging residues and wood waste from forestry and sawmill operations to generate electricity used by Maine Woods Pellet Co in its production process with excess sold to the grid.

This cogeneration plant uses a novel combination of both exhaust and condenser heat to pre-dry the feedstock for the existing pellet plant, making this the first biomass project to fully qualify for Massachusetts Standard Class 1 regulations for Renewable Energy Credits (REC’s).

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