‘“Although Georgia Power will follow whatever the Commission ultimately orders, Georgia Power does not support adding tire-derived fuel to its 2022 Integrated Resource Plan,” Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said in a statement….’
Yet the Georgia Public Service Commission (GA-PSC) approved that anywawy, at its April 4, 2023, Administrative Session.
We already have mercury in our Alapaha Rivers that came through the air from Georgia Power’s coal Plant Scherer north of Macon.
We don’t need more pollutants coming from burning tires. And we don’t need biomass at all: that produces as much CO2 as fossil fuels.
Georgia Power should get on with solar and wind power. Georgia is still behind New Jersey in solar power due to wasting billions of dollars on nuclear Plant Vogtle. We don’t need to waste more billions on biomass plants.
We did not get six resolutions in support of the trust fund bill that stopped diverting funds from tire fees just so fires could be burned. We did that to get those funds to tire amnesties and other appropriate purposes.
The Georgia legislature already had to pass a law prohibiting burning railroad ties in biomass plants. Must the legislature now pass a law to prohibit burning tires?
Drew Kann, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, May 9, 2023, More Georgia biomass plants could soon burn a new fuel: Scrap tires: Change approved last month by the PSC would affect new biomass plants contracting with Georgia Power,
The quest to add tires to the list of approved fuels began at a March 30 meeting of the PSC, when discussion turned to Georgia Power’s plan to source more electricity from biomass plants.
During the meeting, biomass industry representatives came to the podium one after the other with a similar request: To improve the reliability and profitability of their projects, the approval of an “alternative fuel” would be helpful.
The alternative they suggested was scrap tires, known in the power industry as tire-derived fuel (TDF).
Less than a week later at the PSC’s next session, District 1 Commissioner Jason Shaw (R-Lakeland) proposed expanding the list of allowable biomass fuels to include both the burning of tire scraps and natural gas. Shaw also moved to cap the amount of tires that plants can mix into their boilers at 20% of a unit’s total heat input.
The motions passed 4-to-1, with Chairman Tricia Pridemore the lone dissenter on each. A PSC order finalizing the change was issued April 21.
Late last month, the Southern Environmental Law Center (SELC) and the Sierra Club sent a petition to the commission asking it to revoke its order.
No lawsuit has been filed yet, but the groups argued that the commission’s moves were unlawful because they did not provide 30 days notice or allow public hearings before voting on the changes. They also argued that the PSC failed to show that allowing electricity to be generated by burning tires was in the public interest.
Commissioner Shaw, who proposed the change, said the environmental groups raised “compelling reasons to take another look at this,” but said he was not ready to commit to next steps.
“I was following what advice I was given by our legal team and I’ll continue to do that,” he added.
If the commission’s order stands, only projects that successfully bid to fill Georgia Power’s biomass needs could potentially burn tire scraps. But even Georgia Power says it’s not on board with the change.
“Although Georgia Power will follow whatever the Commission ultimately orders, Georgia Power does not support adding tire-derived fuel to its 2022 Integrated Resource Plan,” Georgia Power spokesman John Kraft said in a statement, referring to the company’s long-range energy roadmap approved last year by the PSC. That plan requires the company to add 140 megawatts of biomass to its electricity portfolio in the coming years.
How about instead we produce tires from biomass?
Jessica Lyons Hardcastle, Environmentalleader.com, February 14, 2017, Producing Tires from Biomass Is More Environmentally Sustainable, Economical, Researchers Say,
Manufacturing tires from biomass could make the tire industry, along with other rubber-based products, more environmentally sustainable and economical, according to University of Minnesota researchers.
The new tire technology has been patented by the University of Minnesota and is available for licensing.
-jsq, John S. Quarterman, Suwannee RIVERKEEPER®