FEEDSTOCK ASSESSMENT AND PROCUREMENT
Biomass power generation projects are dependent upon long-term, sustainable woody feedstock supply delivered at economical prices. TSS prides itself on delivering comprehensive and realistic feedstock assessments with a focus on analyzing availability of underutilized “waste” typically comprised of (but not limited to) woody biomass material sourced from forest management activities, forest products manufacturing, municipal wood waste recovery, food waste collection, and agricultural operations. Assessments are developed based on a client’s particular objectives and typically include long-term fuel/feedstock availability and pricing, fuel characterization (e.g., moisture content/high heat value), time-of-year availability, cost of harvesting, collection, processing, and transport, competition analysis, future opportunities and risk.
Following delivery of a biomass fuel/feedstock availability assessment, clients often request that TSS generate a fuel/feedstock procurement plan. These plans typically utilize the fuel/feedstock availability assessment results to provide data in support of a procurement strategy that meets conversion technology specifications and project requirements. Fuel/feedstock characteristics, delivery costs, existing infrastructure and short-term/long-term availability are key components of the procurement plan. Recommendations and observations on development of fuel/feedstock supply chain development, contracting procedures, examples of procurement agreements, opportunity purchases, and competition for fuel are included in the procurement and supply chain development plan.
- Forest Thinning and Hazardous Forest Fuels Reduction
Significant volumes of potentially available woody material in the form of small stems and brush are generated as a byproduct of forest fuels reduction activities. Much of this byproduct material is piled and burned as the primary disposal method. TSS works with communities, land managers and agencies to consider collection, processing and transport techniques to utilize excess forest biomass material as feedstock for value-added uses such as bioenergy production facilities.
- Commercial Forest Management
Timber harvest activities generate significant volumes of residuals (tops/limbs). These residuals are typically collected and piled roadside for burning and, like fuels reduction material, represent a cost-effective opportunity to source sustainably available woody feedstock.
- Food and Organic Waste
State and local governments are increasingly requiring the diversion of food and organic waste from landfills. Turning food and organic waste into compost, bioenergy, biofuels or other products promotes economic utilization and limits environmental impacts by diverting these wastes away from landfills into usable products.
- Agricultural Waste
Commercial agricultural processes generate significant volumes of byproducts that could serve as high-quality feedstocks for bioenergy production. Byproducts such as nut shells, olive pits, peach pits, orchard removals, and orchard prunings are examples of agricultural wastes that are generated annually.
- Purpose-Grown Energy Crops
Short rotation woody crops such eucalyptus, willow or poplar can be cultivated to produce significant volumes of biomass feedstock long term. Utilizing superior genetic growing stock and intensive cultivation (fertilizer, drip irrigation), these short rotation woody crops are becoming more cost effective.
- Municipal Solid Waste and Recycling
As municipalities seek to extend the useful service life of landfills, more emphasis is focused on diversion of waste to value-added uses. Woody biomass waste in the form of construction/demolition wood, pallets, and tree trimmings can be separated at the transfer station or landfill for use as raw material feedstock. In addition, other organic wastes such as food scraps can be source separated as potential feedstocks for conversion to bioenergy using anaerobic digestion technologies.