The project consists of the development of two identical 21 MW biomass generation facilities which will convert wood pulp and debris into electricity for use throughout South Carolina. Southeast Renewable Energy, LLC (“SRE”) currently owns the project, but SRE intends to transfer its current 100 percent ownership of the two plants to enXco Development Corporation (“enXco”).
Both facilities will be using biomass from logging residues, timber thinnings, and urban wood waste as its primary fuel source which will be supplied from an estimated 40 mile radius at each site. Estimates received indicate that each facility will require more than 200,000 tons of biomass per year. The biomass will be converted to electricity and 100 percent of this electrical power output will be sold to Santee Cooper (“Santee”), South Carolina’s state owned electric facility, through a 30-year Power Purchase Agreement (“PPA”) that includes an all-encompassing fuel cost pass-through.
According to the South Carolina Forestry Commission (“SCFC”), forestry is South Carolina’s number one manufacturing industry, employing approximately 90,264 people with a payroll exceeding $4.1 billion. However, studies provided by Forest2Market, a data warehouse entity for the forestry industry, show that in the past four years, due to the economic downturn and housing issues, South Carolina has lost between 10,001 and 22,000 jobs in the forestry industry.
South Carolina has 13.1 million acres of forest land, accounting for approximately 68 percent of the state’s total land area. More than 88 percent of these forests are privately owned and 12 percent are controlled by public agencies. In Allendale County, 181,143 acres, or 65 percent of the total land area is forest land. The stumpage timber value in this county is approximately $9.8 million In Dorchester County 262 million. County, 262,673 acres, or 73 percent of the county’s total land area is forest land. The stumpage timber value in this county is more than $7.252 million.